The management of large mammals in relation to male strategies and conflict with people

Sukumar, R. (1991) The management of large mammals in relation to male strategies and conflict with people Biological Conservation, 55 (1). pp. 93-102. ISSN 0006-3207

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Many large mammals such as elephant, rhino and tiger often come into conflict with people by destroying agricultural crops and even killing people, thus providing a deterrent to conservation efforts. The males of these polygynous species have a greater variance in reproductive success than females, leading to selection pressures favouring a 'high risk-high gain' strategy for promoting reproductive success. This brings them into greater conflict with people. For instance, adult male elephants are far more prone than a member of a female-led family herd to raid agricultural crops and to kill people. In polygynous species, the removal of a certain proportion of 'surplus' adult males is not likely to affect the fertility and growth rate of the population. Hence, this could be a management tool which would effectively reduce animal-human conflict, and at the same time maintain the viability of the population. Selective removal of males would result in a skewed sex ratio. This would reduce the 'effective population size' (as opposed to the total population or census number), increase the rate of genetic drift and, in small populations, lead to inbreeding depression. Plans for managing destructive mammals through the culling of males will have to ensure that the appropriate minimum size in the populations is being maintained.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
ID Code:51920
Deposited On:01 Aug 2011 07:39
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