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An analysis of mother-young behaviour of fallow deer during lactation period

AuthorsBraza, Francisco
Keywordsmaternal behavior
parental investment
fallow deer
Issue Date1988
CitationBehavioural Processes, 17 (1988) 93—106
AbstractIn the DoOana National Park (SW Spain) female fallow deer (Dame dama) give birth during the first fortnight of June, the next béThng season starting at the beginning of October. Between these two events the most important part of lactation takes place Daily observations were made during the summer of 1984 and 1985. The population studied was made up of fourteen mother-young pairs that we were able to recognize individually. During each sampling period a pair of mother-young was scanned. Activities were categorized as follows: feeding, walking, selfgrooming, vigilance, mother-young interactions, and social interactions. No differences were observed in the ontogeny of behaviour neither between male and female fawns nor between their mothers. However, analysing individual differences there appeared a variation between moihers in relation to he rate of interactions towards their fawns, which was in positive correlation with the fawns weight in the case of males. Our results also suggest the possibility of higher investment in heavier female fawns. Furthermore, there is an annual variation in the maternal behaviour in relation to the availability of resources.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0376-6357(88)90028-9
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