n African Zoology - Paternity in the Addo elephant population, South Africa. Is a single male monopolizing matings?

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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The hypothesis that a single dominant male (GAA) monopolized all matings within the elephant population of South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park between 1982 and 1996 was tested using microsatellite analysis. In addition, behavioural data on male musth periods, female oestrous periods, and observations of matings were collected between 1996 and 1999, and used to determine whether there is any behavioural evidence of current mating monopoly by GAA. Exclusion analysis and a likelihood-based approach were employed to assess paternity using genetic data, although low genetic diversity in the Addo elephant population limited the power of these techniques. However, GAA could be excluded as father of a minimum of 34% of calves, and was the most likely father of a maximum of only 28 % of calves. Behavioural data support the genetic data, since there is no indication that GAA monopolizes mating opportunities. Therefore, the hypothesis that a single dominant male has monopolized all matings within the Addo elephant population since 1982 can be rejected.

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