Use of artificial water supplies by captive-born mountain gazelles (Gazella gazella) released in central Arabia

Authors

  • K. M. Dunham

    Corresponding author
    1. The Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.
    2. King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre, P.O. Box 61681, Riyadh 11575, Saudi Arabia
      All correspondence to: FCC Office, The Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.
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All correspondence to: FCC Office, The Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.

Abstract

Tagged, captive-bred mountain gazelles were released into Hawtah Reserve, Saudi Arabia. More than 1 year after they were freed, their drinking behaviour at two water troughs was recorded for 2.5 months during late summer/autumn, using automatic cameras and monitors triggered when an infra-red beam was broken. Only 30% of gazelles (n= 40) were recorded drinking and only individuals which lived close to troughs drank. No gazelles visited the one natural water point. Among gazelles which lived close to the troughs, older individuals were more likely to drink than younger animals. The noise of the cameras as they took a photograph frightened some gazelles and may have influenced their frequency of drinking after they were photographed for the first time.

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