Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 143–150

Philopatry, reproductive success of females, and maternal investment in the red-necked wallaby

  • C. N. Johnson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00299949

Cite this article as:
Johnson, C.N. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1986) 19: 143. doi:10.1007/BF00299949


Female red-necked wallabies settle within their mothers' home ranges, apparently for life, while males disperse at about two years of age. However, sons spend much more time with their mothers before dispersing than do daughters of similar ages. Females who associate regularly with their subadult offspring are less likely to reproduce successfully at their next breeding attempt than are females who spend little time with their subadults, and sons therefore impose greater short-term reproductive costs on their mothers than do daughters. Females who are generally gregarious also suffer reduced reproductive success, even though reproductive success is independent of local density. It is suggested that the reproductive costs to females of associating with their subadult offspring, and other relatives, are incurred through tolerance of ecological competition from those kin, and therefore reflect a form of prolonged maternal investment, which is initially heaviest in sons but is sustained for longer periods in daughters. Females produce equal numbers of male and female offspring, and spend equal amounts of time suckling them in infancy.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. N. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecosystem ManagementUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia