Comparative behaviour of sand and mountain gazelles

Authors

  • K. Habibi,

    1. National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, P.O. Box 61681, Riyadh 11575, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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    • *5956 Hagadorn Road, E. Lansing, MI 48823, USA

  • C. R. Thouless,

    1. King Khaled Wildlife Research Centre, c/o Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NWI 4RY, UK
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  • N. Lindsay

    1. King Khaled Wildlife Research Centre, c/o National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, P.O. Box 61681, Riyadh 11575, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Abstract

Behavioural observations of both captive and free-ranging sand and mountain gazelles revealed differences in group size and composition, territory size and agonistic behaviour. Sand gazelles are seasonal breeders and form large herds (maximum = 56) during rut and post-rut as compared to mountain gazelles, which breed throughout the year in smaller groups (maximum = 5). As a result, mountain gazelle males maintain their territories year round, whereas sand gazelle rams show marked morphological changes and defend a territory only during the rut. Mountain gazelle males exhibited threat displays rather than engaging in actual combat more often than did sand gazelles. Although subject to the same environmental conditions, sand gazelles are seasonal breeders and the young are born in March-April, whereas mountain gazelles give birth throughout the year.

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