The activity pattern of wild mouflon sheep (Ovis orientalis musimon) during the lambing season was observed in a nature reserve in Brandenburg, Germany, during 1995 (n = 5) and 1996 (n = 6). Activity data was recorded automatically by the storage-telemetry-system, ETHOSYS. The animals were equipped with electronic collars weighing about 300 g, which continuously sampled behaviour at 30-min intervals over 50 days. Lambing was accompanied by decreased daily activity budgets during 3-5 consecutive days. The sequence of daily activity budgets around parturition were compared with other periods of lower activity using discriminant analysis. Birth patterns were found to differ significantly in width, depth and shape from normal fluctuations in daily activity. Calculating the discriminant function from the 1995 data, the 1996 minima in activity caused by lambing were accurately predicted. The jackknife method was 93% accurate. Changes in activity patterns and space utilization in the peripartum period in the wild are discussed in contrast to behaviour of animals at pasture or in enclosures.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Institut fur Angewandte Agrarokologie, FG Nutztierokologie, Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2 / Haus 5, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.|
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