INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Vigilance behaviour of the year-round territorial vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) outside the breeding season: influence of group size, social factors and distance to a water source
M. EUGENIA MOSCA TORRES; SILVIA PUIG; AGUSTINA NOVILLO; RAMIRO OVEJERO
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2015 vol. 113 p. 163 - 171
We conducted focal observations of vicuña, an year-around territorial mammal, to compare vigilance behaviour between territorial and bachelor males outside the reproductive season. We hypothesized that the time spent vigilant would depend on male social status, considering the potential effects of several variables: sampling year, group size, distances to the nearest neighbour and to a vega (mountain wetland). We fit GLM models to assess how these variables, and their interactions, affected time allocation of territorial and bachelor males. We found non significant differences between territorial and bachelor males in the time devoted to vigilance behaviour. Vigilance of territorial males was influenced by the sampling year and the distance to the vega. In turn, vigilance in bachelor males was influenced mainly by the sampling year, the group size and the distance to the vega. Our results suggest that sampling year and distance to the vega are more important than social factors in conditioning the behaviour of male vicuñas, during the non-reproductive season. Future studies of behaviour in water-dependant ungulates, should consider the influence of water and forage availabilities, and the interactions between group size and other variables.