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Monday, August 6 • 4:30pm - Friday, August 10 •12:00pm
Student Poster: Does the Petal Fall Far from the Rose? Revealing the Ontogeny and Population Consequences of Ungulate Migration

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AUTHORS: Rhiannon P. Jakopak, Kevin Monteith – Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming

ABSTRACT: Seasonal migration often provides fitness benefits by allowing animals to secure access to high-quality forage, reduce predation risk, and ameliorate severe environmental conditions. For terrestrial migrants, the ontogeny of migration is poorly understood, but has implications for understanding why some species exhibit strong fidelity to their migration routes and seasonal ranges. One hypothesis is that migration routes and aspects of the mother’s seasonal ranges are transmitted from mother to offspring, resulting in surviving female offspring establishing summer ranges in close proximity to their natal range. The rose petal hypothesis describes these matrilineal clusters of related females, which may result in fine-scale genetic clustering and have implications for how biologists and managers understand behavioral constraints on the occupancy of seasonal ranges. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underpinning how this behavior develops, and whether landscape-scale population consequences follow, remain largely unknown. By building upon the framework of the behavioral transmission and rose petal hypotheses, we propose to test whether migratory patterns are transmitted from mother to daughter and assess the population-level consequences of this behavior. We will test the prediction that mothers pass their migratory routes and seasonal ranges to their daughters, resulting in matrilineal clusters that will form as a function of historical performance of the lineage and the seasonal ranges they occupy. We will characterize how mother-daughter pairs of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in western Wyoming come to establish and occupy their seasonal ranges. To reveal how this behavior influences population dynamics and understand historical performance of matrilines, we will use genetic mark-recapture to quantify family-level density. The development and transmission of migration routes and seasonal ranges across generations may influence the occupancy and spatial distribution of migratory animals and, consequently, has implications for harvest management and conserving migration.

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Monday August 6, 2018 4:30pm - Friday August 10, 2018 12:00pm MDT
Assembly Hall Foyer

Attendees (2)