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Alternative Mating Strategies and Reproductive Success in Fallow Deer

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Male fallow deer Dama dama, in a free-ranging population in the New Forest, southern England, either defend territories on a lek, defend single territories or are non-territorial. Mating success is highest on the lek, but unsuccessful lek males get fewer matings than some single territory males off the lek. The mating success of non-territorial behaviour, which is adopted by most males at some time during the rut, is uncertain. Non-lek matings in this population are higher than those reported in other lekking ungulate populations. Male fallow deer are not specialists; individuals commonly change strategies as mating opportunities dictate.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Biology, The University, Southampton, England


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