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Unravelling the Role of Metabolites for Detecting Physiological State of Wild Animals: European Rabbit’s (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Case

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  • Pablo Jesús Marín-García, San Pablo CEU University Foundation
  • ,
  • Lola Llobat, San Pablo CEU University Foundation
  • ,
  • Carlos Rouco, University of Córdoba, CSIC - Institute for Advanced Social Studies
  • ,
  • Juan Antonio Aguayo-Adán, University of Córdoba
  • ,
  • Torben Larsen
  • Maria Cambra-López, Polytechnic University of Valencia
  • ,
  • Enrique Blas, Polytechnic University of Valencia
  • ,
  • Juan José Pascual Amorós, Polytechnic University of Valencia

European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has been defined as a keystone species in the Mediterranean ecosystem. Rabbits have been classed as “endangered” by the IUCN within their native range. In this sense, animal nutrition may play a fundamental and limiting role in the conservation of wild species. The overarching goal of ecological nutrition is to unravel the extensive web of nutritional links that direct animals in their interactions with their ecological environments. The main aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of different feed intake, geographic location, animal sex, and reproductive stage on glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and plasmatic urea nitrogen (PUN), albumin, glutamate, and total protein metabolites. Additionally, we examined the potential of these metabolites as biomarkers. Full stomach contents and blood samples were collected from European wild rabbits (n = 89) for the analysis of the metabolites described above. Our work shows that the levels of these metabolites are affected by the sex of the animals, as well as by their reproductive stage (glucose, NEFA and albumin). There were signs of better optimisation of resources by females than by other groups of animals. These data may be interesting in the study of nutritional components that could be affecting physiological state of this species.

Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2022

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