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Early and late fawn mortality in a remnant population of Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica)

Shalmon, B, Sun, P and Wronski, T (2021) Early and late fawn mortality in a remnant population of Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica). Mammalian Biology, 101 (5). pp. 709-714. ISSN 1616-5047

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The Arabian gazelle (Gazella arabica) population in Israel has experienced a turbulent conservation history and repeatedly faced local extinction. Low fawn survival was considered the main cause for the constant decline. In our study, we analyzed instantaneous fawn mortality rates, using a binomial coding at three different developmental stages, i.e., mortality rates to 3 months after parturition (weaning age), to 5 months after parturition (male fawns leave their mothers), and to the age of reproductive maturity, i.e., recruitment (12 months). We used a dataset obtained from 20 individually discernible mothers and their fawns (49 females and 48 males) born between June 2006 and September 2019. To explore causes for the fawn mortality rates, parental- (age of the mother at parturition) and offspring-related attributes (offspring sex), year of birth, together with one weather variable (mean monthly maximum temperature) were included as independent variables into three independent mixed effects cox regression models. Out of 97 fawns, 92 survived to weaning age, 73 to the age of 5 months and only 7 to the age of reproductive maturity. Temperature had significant effects on instantaneous fawn mortality rates, suggesting that low temperatures were detrimental to the survival of fawns after weaning (4–5 months) and male dispersal age (6–12 months). Male offspring encountered a higher instantaneous mortality rate than female offspring at the age of 6–12 months. Moreover, fawns from less experienced mother (young age at parturition) experienced higher mortality. Our results were in line with previous studies on fawn mortality observed in other desert dwelling ungulates.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; Zoology; Instantaneous mortality rate; Weaning age; Reproductive maturity; Mother's experience; Offspring sex; Weather conditions; JUVENILE MORTALITY; MOUNTAIN; BOVIDAE; 0608 Zoology; Ecology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2022 12:22
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s42991-021-00162-x
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17876
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