Oecologia

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 493–498 | Cite as

Social class, socially-induced loss, recruitment and breeding of red grouse

  • Adam Watson
Original Papers

Summary

Individually marked red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) could be distinguished as territorial or non-territorial from November till the next spring. Territorial birds survived well and many reared young, but numerous nonterritorial birds died or disappeared, and none paired up or reared young. Differences in spring sex ratio between years had already been set in the previous autumn's territorial stock. Many old birds which had been territorial in earlier seasons lost territories after an annual re-distribution of territory each October–November. Thereafter very few of them were seen alive on the area over the winter, and many were found dead, whereas nearly all old birds that kept their territories were still there in spring. The number of birds in spring and the fate of individuals over winter were predicted reasonably accurately from observations of behaviour in the previous November–December. Thus, differences of social class in autumn were critical to a bird's survival to breed in the next summer and to its chances of contesting for territory and breeding in subsequent years.

Keywords

Social Class Early Season Previous Autumn Lagopus Lagopus Territorial Bird 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Jenkins D, Watson A, Miller GR (1963) Population studies on red grouse,Lagopus lagopus scoticus (Lath.) in north-east Scotland. J Anim Ecol 32:317–376Google Scholar
  2. Jenkins D, Watson A, Miller GR (1967) Population fluctuations in the red grouseLagopus lagopus scoticus. J Anim Ecol 36:97–122Google Scholar
  3. Moss R, Watson A (1985) Adaptive value of spacing behaviour in population cycles of red grouse and other animals. In: Behavioural ecology Sibly RM, Smith RH (eds) Blackwell Oxford, pp 275–294Google Scholar
  4. Watson A (1967) Population control by territorial behaviour in red grouse. Nature Lond 215:1274–1275Google Scholar
  5. Watson A (1970) Territorial and reproductive behaviour of red grouse. J Reprod Fert, Suppl 11:3–14Google Scholar
  6. Watson A, Jenkins D (1964) Notes on the behaviour of the red grouse. Br Birds 57:137–170Google Scholar
  7. Watson A, Jenkins D (1968) Experiments on population control by territorial behaviour in red grouse. J Anim Ecol 37:595–614Google Scholar
  8. Watson A, Miller GR (1971) Territory size and aggression in a fluctuating red grouse population. J Anim Ecol 40:367–383Google Scholar
  9. Watson A, Moss R (1980) Advances in our understanding of the population dynamics of red grouse from a recent fluctuation in numbers. Ardea 68:103–111Google Scholar
  10. Watson A, Moss R, Rothery P, Parr R (1984) Demographic causes and predictive models of population fluctuations in red grouse. J Anim Ecol 53:639–662Google Scholar
  11. Wynne-Edwards VC (1962) Animal dispersion in relation to social behaviour. Oliver and Boyd, EdinburghGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyBanchoryScotland

Personalised recommendations