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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Selection of scent-marking sites by klipspringers (Oreotragus oreotragus)
Authors: Roberts, S Craig
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Issue Date: Nov-1997
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Roberts SC (1997) Selection of scent-marking sites by klipspringers (Oreotragus oreotragus), Journal of Zoology, 243 (3), pp. 555-564.
Abstract: Klipspringers deposit scent marks in the form of secretion from the preorbital glands on branches of low trees and shrubs within their territories. Local environmental factors which affect choice of scent-marking sites in a population of wild klipspringers in Zimbabwe are described. Scent marks were typically placed within a narrow vertical range at the end of upward-pointing twigs. Twigs were more likely to be selected if they were located above bare rock, particularly if the ground was raised above the immediately surrounding area or was close to a significant break in slope. A substantial proportion of sites were placed on dead wood. Marking sites may remain in use for a number of years, with turnover rates calculated at between 1 and 2% per annum. The species of tree on which marks were placed were recorded and compared with overall abundance in the habitat. Palatable tree species were found to be selected preferentially when compared to unpalatable ones. Several explanations for this are compared. It is concluded that, simply through preferential selection of certain local characteristics, klipspringers may enhance the visibility and predictability of their scent marks.
Type: Journal Article
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Affiliation: Psychology

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