Male Cheetah Social Organization and Territoriality

Authors

  • T. M. CARO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania National Parks, Arusha
      Sub-Dept. of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge, Madingley, Cambridge CB3 8AA, U. K.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. A. COLLINS

    Corresponding author
    1. Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania National Parks, Arusha
      Dept. of Zoology, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, U. K.
    Search for more papers by this author

Sub-Dept. of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge, Madingley, Cambridge CB3 8AA, U. K.

Dept. of Zoology, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, U. K.

Abstract

Patterns of territory ownership in male cheetahs inhabiting the Serengeti Plains are described, and factors affecting territorial behaviour are examined. Body size and age were factors influencing whether males became territorial, and single males usually had to join up with others in order to oust residents. Both size of male coalition and body size of its members were associated with length of tenure on territories. Limited data suggest that territory owners were probably no more likely to encounter females than were non-territorial males but there was a suggestion that they suffered lower survivorship costs than non-territorial males.

Ancillary