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Diurnal time budget of goitred gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa Güldenstaedt, 1780) in Xinjiang, China
It is considered that four factors influence ungulate activity budget: (a) seasonal biomass and quality, (b) temperature, (c) yearly life cycle, and (d) livestock movements and human activity. In order to test them, the diurnal time budget of goitred gazelles was studied using the focal sampling method in Xinjiang Province (China) during a two-year period (2007–2009). According to our results, in all seasons goitred gazelles spent more than half (up to 68.9%) of their daytime feeding on pastures, and more than one-third resting in spring, autumn, and especially summer (up to 42.1%); in winter their resting time decreased to 29.0% for males and 19.0% for females. Though other activities were very important in the gazelles’ lives, the diurnal time budget for these activities was low (<8.0%). Goitred gazelles showed a trimodal feeding activity in most seasons, and a bimodal in summer (females). Females in summer and males during rutting season devoted more significant time to other activities (suckling, moving, courting and agonistic behaviour). However, the portion of time was still notably lower than for feeding and resting.
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