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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Method for Increasing the Numerousness of Biometrical Parameters Useful for Wildlife Management: Roe Deer Mandible as Bone Model

1
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5, 62032 Camerino, Italy
2
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
3
CESMA-Center for metrological and advanced technological services, University of Naples Federico II, Cupa Nuova Cintia 21, 80146 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030465
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 7 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
The wildlife expansion in the Italian Apennines caused a general development in hunting activities, together with the necessity of using biometry (size analysis) and geometric morphometry (shape analysis) as methods for monitoring the status of wildlife populations. Thus, in the last decades, study of the sizes and shapes of structures in wildlife populations has been extensively investigated. Biometric surveys and analysis of the resulting cranial and body data are now crucial in management decisions and new possibilities of improving datasets should be considered. Thus, we attempted to identify a conversion factor between shape and size analysis methods, using the mandible of adult roe deer as a bone model. The availability of this conversion factor enhances the numerousness of parameters into the classical biometric database, by means of the conversion of shape measures into size measures. Therefore, the relationship among biometric parameters, animal and environmental features can be better studied. The obtained data can be very useful to assess both wildlife population status and its management.
Study of dimensions (biometry) and shapes (geometric morphometry) of bone structures in ungulates is of extreme importance in wildlife population management. Unlike classical biometry, which involves the use of a caliper for measurements, geometric morphometry acquires, through software, a series of reference points (landmarks) from digital photos, providing a series of linear measures. A method to convert values obtained from the GeoGebra software into biometric measures is described. We took photos of 25 mandibles of adult roe deer and at the same time measured mandible length and teeth row length using a caliper. After image processing using GeoGebra, we calculated the conversion factor as the mean ratio between measures taken using GeoGebra and the caliper. The series of measurements, taken with two different methods (direct measurement using the caliper and conversion from GeoGebra output), showed a good degree of agreement. We used the conversion factor to obtain, from the GeoGebra database, four additional parameters of 50 mandibles. The analysis of variance showed that one parameter was significantly different between sexes (p = 0.04), demonstrating the usefulness of the measurement conversion. The conversion factor is helpful to improve classical biometric databases to better clarify the relationship between environment and wildlife status. View Full-Text
Keywords: biometry; size analysis; shape analysis; wildlife management; roe deer biometry; size analysis; shape analysis; wildlife management; roe deer
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De Felice, E.; Pacioni, C.; Tardella, F.M.; Dall’Aglio, C.; Palladino, A.; Scocco, P. A Novel Method for Increasing the Numerousness of Biometrical Parameters Useful for Wildlife Management: Roe Deer Mandible as Bone Model. Animals 2020, 10, 465.

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