oa Madoqua - Seasonal nutritive status of wildebeest in the Etosha National Park
The nutritive status of wildebeest was assessed using visual condition ratings, kidney fat, bone marrow and blood plasma as indicators of nutritional stress. Visual physical ratings showed that 78% of wildebeest were in good to excellent condition. This was confirmed by the kidney fat index. Thirteen out of 20 wildebeest had a bone marrow fat level above 80%. Nine blood parameters were measured, confirming that nutritive levels were normal, except for inorganic phosphorus which was marginally deficient. Similarly, liver analyses showed low phosphorus levels and suggested that copper add cobalt may also have been marginally deficient. Nevertheless, nutritive levels were sufficiently high to discount nutrition as being limiting to the population.
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