No risk, no gain: effects of crop raiding and genetic diversity on body size in male elephants
Body size is an important influence on the life history of males of polygynous mammals because it is usually highly correlated with fitness and is under intense selection. In this paper, we investigated the effect of high-risk foraging behavior (crop raiding) and genetic heterozygosity on male body size in a well-studied population of African elephants. Crop raiding, the foraging on cultivated food crops by wildlife is one of the main causes of wildlife human conflict and is a major conservation issue for many polygynous mammals that live in proximity to agriculture or human habitation. Body size was estimated using hind foot size, a measure strongly correlated with stature and mass. Crop raiding predicted male size in adulthood, with raiders being larger than nonraiders. However, elephants that became raiders were neither larger nor smaller for age when young. Enhanced growth rates and size among raiders suggest that taking risks pays off for males. Lastly, genetic heterozygosity had no effect on size for age in male elephants, most likely because low-heterozygosity males were rare. Risky foraging behavior can evolve as a result of strong sexual selection for large size and condition-dependent mating success in males. We discuss the implications of these results for managing human--wildlife conflict. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:552-558. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.