Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-736X
NOGUEIRA, Selene S.C. et al. Ultrasound call detection in capybara. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.7, pp.663-666. ISSN 0100-736X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2012000700014.
The vocal repertoire of some animal species has been considered a non-invasive tool to predict distress reactivity. In rats ultrasound emissions were reported as distress indicator. Capybaras[ vocal repertoire was reported recently and seems to have ultrasound calls, but this has not yet been confirmed. Thus, in order to check if a poor state of welfare was linked to ultrasound calls in the capybara vocal repertoire, the aim of this study was to track the presence of ultrasound emissions in 11 animals under three conditions: 1) unrestrained; 2) intermediately restrained, and 3) highly restrained. The ultrasound track identified frequencies in the range of 31.8±3.5 kHz in adults and 33.2±8.5 kHz in juveniles. These ultrasound frequencies occurred only when animals were highly restrained, physically restrained or injured during handling. We concluded that these calls with ultrasound components are related to pain and restraint because they did not occur when animals were free of restraint. Thus we suggest that this vocalization may be used as an additional tool to assess capybaras[ welfare.
Keywords : Animal restraint; animal welfare; Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris; capybara; ultrasonic vocalization; wildlife management.