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I Lamoot and M Hoffmann (2004)

Do season and habitat influence the behaviour of Haffinger mares in a coastal dune area?


This study was performed to gain more knowledge about the behaviour and habitat use of Haflinger mares, free-ranging in a low-productivity dune area. Detailed data on these animals' time budgets were collected over a full year, through the focal animal observation technique. On average the Haflinger horses spent 68\% of the daytime grazing, 18\% resting and 8\% walking. Seasonal features influenced horses' behaviour, mainly through a change in grazing time. Shorter grazing time in summer allowed the animals to rest longer than during the other seasons. We suggest that especially the decreased forage quality and quantity of the grazed habitats in the non-growing season account for the increased grazing time in autumn and winter. In all four seasons the horses preferred grazing in the grassy habitat. However, habitat use showed seasonal variation. Grey dunes were grazed more intensively in winter and spring, compared to summer and autumn. The contribution of roughage, scrub and woodland to the habitat use was low over the entire year. For several response variables the observed variation could be partly explained by the differences between individual animals.

horse; free-ranging; habitat use; time-budget; grazing behaviour; non-grazing behaviour
9th Benelux Congress of Zoology, Antwerp, BELGIUM, NOV 08-09, 2002
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology