Shit happens – a glimpse into males’ mating tactics in a polygynous ungulate - the reindeer

  • Øystein Holand Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Science, P.O.Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway
  • Léon L’Italien Département de Biologie and Centre d’études nordiques, Université Laval, 1045 avenue de la Médecine, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • Robert B. Weladji Department of Biology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada
  • Natasa Djaković Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Science, P.O.Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway
  • Knut Røed Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, P.O.Box 8146, Dep. N-0033 Oslo, Norway
  • Anne Lene Hovland Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Science, P.O.Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway
  • Mauri Nieminen Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Reindeer Research Station, Fin-99910 Kaamanen, Finland
Keywords: intrasexual selection, male-male combats, mating tactics, reindeer, reindeer male mating strategy, videos

Abstract

This is about the two big "guys", Spot and Mika, and their endeavour to propagate their genes during the mating season 2007. They were 6 and 5 years old weighting 172 and 141 kg before rut, respectively. Together with 23 other males (one 5 yrs, two 4 yrs, three 3 yrs, six 2 yrs and eleven 1 yr old) they roamed within a ~15 km2 fenced area competing for access to 87 females. Indeed, the competition was intense and all males present contributed to the dynamic observed. Especially Hot, the heaviest 4 yrs old male weighing 155 kg before rut, played a prominent role - in addition to Spot and Mika, their mating tactics being highly dynamic. However there is no short cut to success - strength have to be coupled with smartness - but shit happens - as we'll see.
Published
2012-10-16
How to Cite
Holand, Øystein, L’Italien, L., Weladji, R. B., Djaković, N., Røed, K., Hovland, A. L., & Nieminen, M. (2012). Shit happens – a glimpse into males’ mating tactics in a polygynous ungulate - the reindeer. Rangifer, 32(1), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.7557/2.32.1.2378
Section
Articles