Feeding and foraging behaviour of alpaca in northern Chile
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Alpaca play a primary role in the Andean peasant economy. Major constraints to productivity include lack of knowledge of relations between reproduction and nutrition and of the potential of alpaca outside their normal distribution area. Alpaca are being studied in their native Andean environment and under extensive and intensive management systems in central Chile. Feeding behaviour and distances travelled were observed in an experiment including 25 animals (10 at altitude, 10 in central Chile on extensive grazing and five in confinement). Pedometers were used to determine distances travelled and feeding activity was measured by a specially designed apparatus. Alpacas on the high plateau spent more energy, as shown by increased grazing time and distance covered, and weighted the lowest of the three groups. © 1994 Academic Press Limited.
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