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Author (up) Kohli, K., Sankaran, M., Suryawanshi, K. R., Mishra, C url  openurl
  Title A penny saved is a penny earned: lean season foraging strategy of an alpine ungulate Type Journal Article
  Year 2014 Publication Animal Behaviour Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue 92 Pages 93-100  
  Keywords blue sheep, grazing, herbivore, mountain ungulate, optimal foraging, Pseudois nayaur, trans-Himalaya  
  Abstract Lean season foraging strategies are critical for the survival of species inhabiting highly seasonal environments

such as alpine regions. However, inferring foraging strategies is often difficult because of

challenges associated with empirically estimating energetic costs and gains of foraging in the field. We

generated qualitative predictions for the relationship between daily winter foraging time, body size and

forage availability for three contrasting foraging strategies including time minimization, energy intake

maximization and net energy maximization. Our model predicts that for animals employing a time

minimization strategy, daily winter foraging time should not change with body size and should increase

with a reduction in forage availability. For energy intake maximization, foraging time should not vary

with either body size or forage availability. In contrast, for a net energy maximization strategy, foraging

time should decrease with increase in body size and with a reduction in forage availability. We contrasted

proportion of daily time spent foraging by bharal, Pseudois nayaur, a dimorphic grazer, across

different body size classes in two high-altitude sites differing in forage availability. Our results indicate

that bharal behave as net energy maximizers during winter. As predicted by the net energy maximization

strategy, daily winter foraging time of bharal declined with increasing body size, and was lower in the

site with low forage availability. Furthermore, as predicted by our model, foraging time declined as the

winter season progressed. We did not find support for the time minimizing or energy intake maximizing

strategies. Our qualitative model uses relative rather than absolute costs and gains of foraging which are

often difficult to estimate in the field. It thus offers a simple way to make informed inferences regarding

animal foraging strategies by contrasting estimates of daily foraging time across gradients of body size

and forage availability.
 
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  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1409  
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