Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (GxABT)
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (GxABT)

Comparison of two measurements linked to stress in the Yaku Sika Deer (Cervus Nippon Yakushimae), between natural and disturbed habitat, Yakushima (Japan)

Massoz, Noémie ULiège
Promotor(s) : Mahy, Gregory ; Agetsuma, Naoki
Date of defense : 27-Aug-2018 • Permalink :
Title : Comparison of two measurements linked to stress in the Yaku Sika Deer (Cervus Nippon Yakushimae), between natural and disturbed habitat, Yakushima (Japan)
Author : Massoz, Noémie ULiège
Date of defense  : 27-Aug-2018
Advisor(s) : Mahy, Gregory 
Agetsuma, Naoki 
Language : English
Keywords : [en] sika deer
[en] Cervus nippon
[en] Yakushima
[en] stress
[en] parasites
[en] cortisol
Discipline(s) : Life sciences > Environmental sciences & ecology
Research unit : Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Target public : Researchers
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Hokkaido University, Kita, Japan
PRI and WRC, Kyoto University, Kyoto and Inuyama, Japan
Degree: Master en bioingénieur : gestion des forêts et des espaces naturels, à finalité spécialisée
Faculty: Master thesis of the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (GxABT)


[en] The Yaku sika deer (Cervus nippon yakushimae) is a cervid species endemic to Yakushima island, Japan. Living in high population density, they are facing various anthropogenic stress factors: car traffic, tourism, hunt and logging. Comparison of the stress status was made between natural and disturbed habitats and, at the undisturbed level, between individuals living near and far from the road. Faecal samples were collected in late winter-early spring and camera traps were installed for 20 days. Faecal glucocorticoids (fGCs) concentration, parasite richness, infection intensity and deer occurrence throughout the day were measured. Very low values were obtained, probably because of the season, characterised by lower cortisol level and parasite infection. The high variability in fGCs concentration in individuals living far from the road suggest they are less habituated to human stressors. Also, camera traps results indicate a more diurnal behaviour in natural habitat and a crepuscular one in disturbed habitat, suggesting deer changed their behaviour to avoid human presence. Therefore, the small values in fGCs concentration are not surprising since deer adopted strategies to avoid a detrimental chronic stress: habituation to human and avoidance of period of the day with higher human activity. No relationship could have been established between the fGCs concentration and the parasitological measures, further studies at different periods of the year are required to completely characterised the stress status in Yaku deer populations and to understand the implication of parasitism on stress in Yaku deer.



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  • Massoz, Noémie ULiège Université de Liège > Master bioingé. gest. forêts & esp. nat., à fin.


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