Sex differences in the foraging ecology of large herbivores

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Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Sexual Segregation in Vertebrates: Ecology of the Two Sexes


K. Ruckstuhl, P. Neuhaus


Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

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Adult males and females of many animal species differ in terms of the taxonomic range of food types they use, and/or the physical and chemical properties of the meals they ingest. Surprisingly, however, recognition and understanding of these differences has advanced slowly. For example, practitioners of wildlife production and conservation typically use total animal numbers for setting stocking rates, estimating area requirements, monitoring plant–animal interactions, etc., with no consideration of sex differences in feeding ecology. Yet the reason why textbooks on wildlife ecology and management (e.g. Caughley & Sinclair, 1994) seldom address sex differences is more the lack of conclusive published information than simple oversight. Hence, my purpose in writing this chapter will be served if it stimulates further research on this ecologically important topic.

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