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Assessing body condition and energy budget components by scoring abdominal profiles in free-ranging pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus
journal contributionposted on 01.05.2006, 00:00 authored by J Madsen, Marcel KlaassenMarcel Klaassen
An abdominal profile index (API) was developed for pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus as a measure of body condition. On basis of carcass analysis of 56 adult geese with known API prior to collection, we found significant linear relationships between API against body mass, abdominal fat and total energy content. Hence, changes in API reflect net energy intake rates. As an example of the applicability of the calibration, we compared APIs of individually marked geese before and after long migration episodes and estimated the cost of flight at 8.9 kJ/km. In addition we estimated gain rates at three major staging sites along the spring flyway indicating an increase in fueling rates with latitude. Calibration of APIs and energy contents offers new opportunities for field studies of waterfowl energetics.