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Areas of concentrated use within seasonal ranges of Corsican mouflons: Importance of psychophysiological and ecological contexts in their modulation

Authors
Journal
Behavioural Processes
0376-6357
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0376-6357(94)90073-6
Keywords
  • Wild Ungulate
  • Seasonal Home Range
  • Sexual Difference
  • Spatial Behaviour
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology

Abstract

Abstract We studied the space use of mouflons ( Ovis musimon) for more than four years in a population living in low Mediterranean mountains. The different behaviour of ewes and rams, which is related to social and spatial segregation outside the rut, has an effect on spatial use. Depending on the season, ecological or psychophysiological contexts influence the way in which the animals concentrate their activity in their range. The difference in spatial use between sexes is the most obvious during the rut and in winter. During the rut, rams exhibit a high degree of spatial instability while ewes continue as in summer, concentrating their activity in a restricted area. During winter, rams which have returned to their non-rut range exhibit spatial stability while females become more unstable. We suggest that spatial attachment of the two sexes is expressed differently and that the significance accorded by individuals to the psychophysiological and ecological contexts they live play on the significance of space and finally on spatial use.

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