Sexual selection and mating chronology of lesser prairie-chickens

Adam C. Behney, Blake A. Grisham, Clint W. Boal, Heather A. Whitlaw, David A. Haukos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about mate selection and lek dynamics of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). We collected data on male territory size and location on leks, behavior, and morphological characteristics and assessed the importance of these variables on male Lesser Prairie-Chicken mating success during spring 2008 and 2009 in the Texas Southern High Plains. We used discrete choice models and found that males that were less idle were chosen more often for mating. Our results also suggest that males with smaller territories obtained more copulations. Morphological characteristics were weaker predictors of male mating success. Peak female attendance at leks occurred during the 1-week interval starting 13 April during both years of study. Male prairie-chickens appear to make exploratory movements to, and from, leks early in the lekking season; 13 of 19 males banded early (23 Feb13 Mar) in the lekking season departed the lek of capture and were not reobserved (11 yearlings, 2 adults). Thirty-three percent (range = 2651%) of males on a lek mated (yearlings = 44%, adults = 20%) and males that were more active experienced greater mating success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
JournalWilson Journal of Ornithology
Volume124
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

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