Extra-pair copulations in Black Brant

The Condor
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Abstract

Monogamy is the primary mating system among waterfowl, but extra-pair copulations (EPCs) have been documented in at least 39 species (McKinney et al. 1983). Extra-pair copulations occur in most Holarctic species of dabbling ducks (Anas spp.), but have been recorded in only three species of geese: Lesser Snow Geese, Chen caerulescens caerulescens (Mineau and Cooke 1979a), Ross’ Geese, C. rossii (J. Ryder in McKinney et al. 1984), and Greater White-fronted Geese, Anser albifrons frontalis (C.R. Ely, pers. comm.).

In colonial Lesser Snow Geese, the close proximity of nesting conspecifics may enable males to pursue EPCs as a secondary reproductive strategy (Mineau and Cooke, 1979a, 1979b). Copulatory behavior of other geese has not been studied in sufficient detail to permit comparison with Lesser Sone Geese. Here we report on timing and rates of pair copulations (PCs) and EPCs, and describe behaviors associated with EPCs in colonially nesting Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans).

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Extra-pair copulations in Black Brant
Series title The Condor
DOI 10.2307/1368407
Volume 92
Issue 1
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher Cooper Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 3 p.
First page 242
Last page 244
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