Social relationships and reproductive performance in group-living arctic blue foxes

  • Hannu Korhonen Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Fur Farming Research Station, FIN-69100 Kannus, Finland
  • Sakari Alasuutari University of Helsinki, Muddusjärvi Experimental Farm, FIN-99910 Kaamanen, Finland

Abstract

The aim of the present work was to study social relationships and reproductivity in captive arctic blue fox groups of different genetic origin. The social status of the individuals among groups remained constant during autumn and early winter. Males typically dominated over females in the groups. Males also had higher body weights and more social contacts than females. The locomotor activity of the animals increased during the breeding season, especially in the case of males. Urinary marking had a significant importance during the breeding season, being most pronounced in dominant males. No synchronization was observed in the heat development of females despite some kinship. Behaviours such as escape attempts, bitings and increased aggressiveness occurred in March-April as a result of increasing social tension combined with reproductive behaviour. Whelping success varied depending on group composition. Some of the non-breeding and breeding females were observed to act as communal nursing helpers.

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Section
Articles
Published
Jan 1, 1994
How to Cite
Korhonen, H., & Alasuutari, S. (1994). Social relationships and reproductive performance in group-living arctic blue foxes. Agricultural and Food Science, 3(1), 49-58. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.72687