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Relationships between home-range size, sex and season with reference to the mating system of the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata

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This paper presents observations of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata home-range, in the semi-desert steppe of eastern Morocco. Home-ranges were calculated from radiotagged birds using the fixed kernel method (LSCV). The mean annual home-range of males (17 km2) was smaller than that of females (146 km2; P < 0.001). The majority of male home-ranges had a unimodal distribution (86%), whereas 67% of female home-ranges were multimodal. Consequently, the amplitude of female movements was larger (mean: 44 km/13 km; P < 0.002). In spring, male home-ranges decreased in size around display sites (8 km2) and many of them overlapped considerably. Display sites show an aggregative distribution (P < 0.001) and a single female reproductive range may contain the display sites of several males. The data fulfil the definition of an exploded lek social structure. In our study, C. u. undulata appears to be sedentary with relatively limited home-ranges. Successive years of fidelity to home-ranges indicate that adults are not nomadic.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Musée Universitaire de Beaulieu, UMR 6553, Muséologie et Biodiversité, Université de Rennes 1, France 2: Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation, Department of Ecology, PO Box 47, 33250 Missour, Morocco

Publication date: April 1, 2004


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