, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 175-183

Cycle synchrony and probability of conception in female hamadryas baboonsPapio hamadryas

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Abstract

We investigated the factors affecting conception in a captive population ofPapio hamadryas. We collected data on reproductive states from 16 females over 12 years. Probability of conception was related to the outcome of the immediately preceding pregnancy and the fate of the preceding offspring. After abortions or when an infant survived more than 6 months, a female needed more cycles to conceive than when an infant died within the first 6 months post partum. The degree of estrus synchrony within, but not between, one-male units influenced the probability of conception. Females experiencing conceptive estrus showed less synchrony than those experiencing nonconceptive estrus. The number of females simultaneously in estrus within a one-male unit was negatively correlated with the probability of conception. Within our captive population, group size and male and female age had no influence on the probability of conception. The results indicate that sperm may be a limited resource in the one-male reproductive units of hamadryas baboons. Female-female competition for conception may exist and should influence the demography of one-male units.