Presentation on theme: "#101-P. Sexual Dominance during feeding in captive reared agouti (Dasyprocta leporina). Samantha S. Sookram1, Michele D. Singh1 and Gary W. Garcia1 1The."— Presentation transcript:
1#101-P.Sexual Dominance during feeding in captive reared agouti (Dasyprocta leporina).Samantha S. Sookram1, Michele D. Singh1 and Gary W. Garcia11The Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St. AugustineCorresponding author:AbstractThe agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) is the most hunted species in Trinidad and Tobago. Semi intensive systems for captive rearing are being developed in order to decrease the burden on the wild populations, as well as, to provide business opportunities for rural communities. This study was done to evaluate the feeding hierarchy of male and female agouti in order to understand their feeding temperament in captivity. Four groups of agoutis were monitored each day when fed. Observations were made to determine if there was any dominant feeder based on the sex of the animal. The animals were fed for 20 days at the same time in a feeding trough. The observations showed male dominance in three of the four cages. The males ate from the trough before the females, in some cases; they went into the troughs and grunt or move their bodies in an aggressive manner preventing the females from feeding in the area. Most days, several females would eat of the ground where grains of feed fell without coming in contact with the males. In one cage, a single female showed dominance over the others. Males showed dominance in feeding in social colonies which suggests that the nutrition and quantity of food left for the females may affect their growth and performance. Further studies can be done to determine whether females in estrus release pheromones that may have any effect on feeding in males.Introduction:The agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) is the most hunted wild species in Trinidad and Tobago (Garcia 2004). Semi intensive systems are being developed to reduce the hunting burden and create business opportunities.The agouti is an aggressive animal, however when reared in captivity, exhibits reduced aggression over time. Research on the feeding behaviour of this species would assist in developing feeding and nutritional management for the agouti. The information would also determine how the animals are stocked.Objective:To determine if there is any sexual dominance in agouti Dasyprocta leporina when fed in captivity and record the feeding behavior of the dominant sex.Methodology:Twenty one (21) agoutis from the University Field Station colonies were tagged and observed for twenty days during feeding. Behaviour of the animals toward one another when fed were recorded.Results:Male agoutis showed aggression and dominance and ate first daily (Fig. 1) . The male agouti would grunt, pat their feet on the ground, and/or defecate in the feed troughs.*Fig. 1: Displays of dominance exhibited by male agouti whilst feeding over the 20 day period.Discussion/Conclusion: The males were dominant over the females in three out of four cages. This may have implications on male:female ratios in breeding colonies as the female nutrition may be compromised. Further investigations are necessary to evaluate feeding dominance in captive reared systems.Reference:Garcia, G. W Overview of the Wildlife Resources in the Neo-tropics/Caribbean: An approach to Sustainable Utilization of Wildlife Resources in Trinidad and Tobago. Paper presented at the Regional Symposium on Towards Sustainable Use of the Caribbean’s Renewable Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago, 8–10 March.