Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna?

Kraus C, Kunkele J, Trillmich F (2003)
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 66(2): 225-238.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Socioecological models for small mammals attempt to explain the causal relations between the spatiotemporal distributions of food resources, females and males. We tested their predictions for a wild population of Cavia magna, a grazing, precocial rodent, by analysing spacing behaviour in relation to various demographic features. Between May 1999 and January 2001 we collected capture-recapture data on 309 individuals and monitored 55 females and 49 males by radiotelemetry in periodically inundated wetland in Uruguay. Cavies showed a nonstationary use of space: monthly home ranges drifted over the whole study site. Female home ranges overlapped with those of several others. Females were randomly distributed and we found no evidence for socially mediated reproductive synchrony. Males ranged over larger areas than females, showing even less site fidelity, and also overlapped with several rivals. This basic spacing system remained stable over a wide range of densities and sex ratios. Independent of sex, animals used overlap zones randomly with respect to each other. Significant dynamic (spatiotemporal) interaction was most frequent between males and females. However, interaction analyses revealed no evidence for stable social bonds between animals, regardless of sex. We suggest that unpredictable female locations prevent males monopolizing females spatially. Because females are solitary, males could monopolize only one female by maintaining close proximity, rendering a roaming mating tactic more successful. Our findings point to a solitary 'social' system and overlap promiscuity as the likely mating system for the C. magna population studied. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
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Kraus C, Kunkele J, Trillmich F. Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. 2003;66(2):225-238.
Kraus, C., Kunkele, J., & Trillmich, F. (2003). Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 66(2), 225-238.
Kraus, C., Kunkele, J., and Trillmich, F. (2003). Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 66, 225-238.
Kraus, C., Kunkele, J., & Trillmich, F., 2003. Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 66(2), p 225-238.
C. Kraus, J. Kunkele, and F. Trillmich, “Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna?”, ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, vol. 66, 2003, pp. 225-238.
Kraus, C., Kunkele, J., Trillmich, F.: Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. 66, 225-238 (2003).
Kraus, C, Kunkele, J, and Trillmich, Fritz. “Spacing behaviour and its implications for the mating system of a precocial small mammal: an almost asocial cavy Cavia magna?”. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 66.2 (2003): 225-238.
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