alexa Behavioural Flexibility in a Small African Antelope: Group Size and Composition in the Oribi (Ourebia ourebi, Bovidae) Authors
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Author(s): Peter Arcese, ARE Sinclair, Gwen Jongejan

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Individually identified Ourebia ourebi (Bovidae) were observed in Serengeti National Park for 1–8 mo, annually, from 1987 to 1993 to study flexibility in the size and composition of territorial groups. A total of 236 O. ourebi were resighted over periods of 1 yr or more. The modal number of adults in groups was three in all years (range: 1–7; x̄ = 3.1, SE = 0.2, n = 5 yr; 136 groups overall); maximum group size with adolescent young and calves was eight. In 32% of 136 identified groups, two adult males were resident for at least 1 yr, as were three adult males in 4% of all groups. Groups with up to three adult females were common (range: 0–5). Overall, 25% of 32 adult males and 27% of 26 adult females were still present on the territory where first identified after 4 yr. Only 14% of 35 male-female dyads remained intact over the same period. O. ourebi in Serengeti appear to be primarily polygynous, with a moderate rate of yr-to-yr residency in particular groups, and with a low rate of long-term pairing between males and females. Groups with more than one adult male are not unique to Serengeti but their significance has not been previously considered. Comparisons across O. ourebi populations in Africa show that polygyny is positively correlated with the ratio of adult females to males, population density, mean group size, and the prevalence of multi-male groups, but there is less evidence that these variables influence the number of adult males in groups. Experiments are required to determine how demography, predation pressure, and the quality and distribution of food influence group size and composition in O. ourebi and other small antelope.

This article was published in Ethology International Journal of behavioural Biology and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

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