Apollonio, Marco and Festa-Bianchet, Marco and Mari, Franco and Riva, M. (1990) Site-specific asymmetries in male copulatory success in a fallow deer lek. Animal Behaviour, Vol. 39 (2), p. 205-212. ISSN 0003-3472. Article.
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In a fallow deer, Cervus dama, lek in central Italy, most copulations occurred in a few male territories on one side of the lek. Individual territories were fixed in space between years, and most maintained their relative rank in terms of numbers of copulations in successive years. High-ranked territories were peripheral, near paths used by females to enter the lek area. Successful territories were defended more often than territories where few or no copulations were seen, but their defence did not involve a greater frequency of fighting. The turnover of males on territories was unrelated to the number of copulations seen there. Females apper to choose mates partly on the basis of location, and thus males should compete for ownership of territories preferred by females.
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