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Cumberland Wildpark Grünau
Grünau, Austria
  929 Visits
Chamois are herbivores, and in winter they mainly rely on their fat storage which increases from spring to late autumn. Chamois could starve or freeze to death if their fat storage becomes depleted before the winter is over. During a three-year scientific project of the hunting association of Upper Austria, free-ranging chamois were equipped with radio-collars to track their location and activity patterns. Additionally, the body temperature and the heart rate of the tagged animals were recorded. The findings from this project showed that the body temperature and the heart rate of chamois were reduced in winter. This mechanism helps them save energy. Additionally, chamois sit out extreme cold periods by hardly moving, which also helps to reduce energetic costs. Only when temperatures reach -10 degrees Celsius and lower, things start to get stressful for chamois: they have to invest more energy to keep their body temperature up by drawing on their fat storage.