Abstract - Manifestations of Social Dominance in Pronghorn Bucks

Bromley, P.T. 1988. Manifestations of social dominance in pronghorn bucks. Conference on Ungulate Behavior and Management. College Station, TX.


Studies of the early socialization and adult behavior of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) bucks reveal the central role of dominance in their social organization and ecology. Dominance rank order was established by the age of 6 weeks and persisted at least until the age of 3 months in a local population at the National Bison Range (NBR), Montana, U.S.A. Behavior patterns of territorial bucks at Wind Cave National Park (WCNP), South Dakota, U.S.A., were related to the relative dominance of the bucks and to the proximity of the bucks to territorial boundaries and to geographic features. At WCNP a dominance hierarchy existed among territorial bucks. Territorial bucks at WCNP and NBR claimed areas for territories with the greatest abundance of preferred food. Competition for dominance status is a central organizing force in pronghorn society. Adaptations of local populations to ecological conditions are expressed through variations in social organization. Found in APPL.-ANIM.-BEHAV.-SCI. 1991. vol. 29, no. 1-4, pp. 147-164

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