Male alpine chamois occupy territories at hotspots before the mating season

Citation
A. Von Hardenberg et al., Male alpine chamois occupy territories at hotspots before the mating season, ETHOLOGY, 106(7), 2000, pp. 617-630
Citations number
44
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
7
Year of publication
2000
Pages
617 - 630
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200007)106:7<617:MACOTA>2.0.ZU;2-S
Abstract
Ungulate mating systems vary broadly both between and within species. Studi es on mating systems in different habitats can provide clues to the ecologi cal factors determining this diversity. Despite its abundance in the Europe an Alps and its importance as a game species, surprisingly little is known about the mating system of Alpine chamois Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra. We tested the hypothesis that adult males first defend mating territories in late spring, when females segregate from males and well before the Nov. rut . In the Gran Paradise National Park (north-western Italian Alps), adult ma les shared a winter range but occupied individual ranges in summer and earl y autumn. Males were more aggressive to each other in the summer than in th e spring. A strong site fidelity from one year to the next was found for th e summer and early autumn months. Those males that occupied the same territ ories both in the summer and during the rut (Nov.) appeared to be at hotspo ts, attractive to females during the rut because of reduced snow cover. Oth er males appeared to cluster around these hotspots during the rut. Territor ies that were first occupied during the summer were Visited by more females than those that were not established until the rut began. Our results sugg est that the mating system of this population of Alpine chamois consists of the early occupation of clustered mating territories. The early establishm ent of mating territories in areas frequented by females during the rut may lead to reproductive benefits for male chamois.