Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Adult and yearling pampas deer stags (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) display mild reproductive seasonal patterns with maximum values in autumn

Rodolfo Ungerfeld; Matías Villagrán; Jorge Gil-Laureiro; Adrián Sestelo; Florencia Beracochea; Fernando Fumagalli; Alejandro Bielli

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Abstract: The pampas deer is an endangered species, from which reproductive biology little is known. We aimed to describe and compare the reproductive seasonal patterns of adult and yearling pampas deer stags throughout the year, including morphological traits, testosterone concentration, sperm morphology and cryoresistance pattern changes. Six adult (AS) and five yearling (YS) stags were captured with anesthetic darts once in winter, spring, summer and autumn to study morphological variables, serum testosterone and semen. Adult males were heavier, their neck girth tended to be greater and their testosterone concentration was higher than in YS. Animals were heavier in summer and autumn. Neck girth and testosterone concentration were greater in autumn. Scrotal circumference, testicular volume and gonado-somatic index varied with seasons, decreasing from winter to spring, increasing in summer and remaining in greater values in autumn. Sperm quality had maximum values from summer to winter. However, the cryoresistance ratio of motility score was greater in spring. In conclusion, in the captivity conditions, pampas deer stags seems to present a light seasonal reproductive pattern, with maximum testis size, testosterone secretion and fresh semen quality in autumn. Nevertheless, sperm cryoresistance ratio seemed to remain stable along the year. Although YS were still growing, they achieved similar semen quality than AS.


cervid, electroejaculation, rut, seasonality, sperm


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