Use of space and movement patterns in monogamous adult Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of zoology 262(2004), No. 3, p. 257-264 http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0952836903004606
Monogamy in mammals is characterized by reduced sexual dimorphism in morphology and behaviour. Ten pairs of Eurasian beaver Castor fiber were radio-tracked to test how far this concept can be applied to movement behaviour by focusing on sex-related effects on territory sizes and movement patterns. Within monogamous pairs, males and females occupied territories of almost equal size during the whole radio-tracking period and more specifically after parturition. The territories of pair members overlapped on average by 81.6±14.0% SD while the territory overlap between residents and their neighbours was small to non-existent (on average between 0.5% and 2.2%). Males had larger 95% utility distributions than did females during the whole tracking period and after parturition. There was no significant difference between the 50% utility distributions for both sexes. Furthermore, males and females spent equal proportions of their time in territory border zones. There was a non-significant trend for males to move greater distances at night than females. Nightly distance moved correlated positively with territory size in females but not in males. Nightly distance moved correlated with neither body weight nor colony size. These results suggest that beavers show reduced sexual dimorphism in space use and movement patterns within adult monogamous pairs.