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Scent Marking in Fallow Deer: Effects of Lekking Behavior on Rubbing and Wallowing
Giovanna Massei and R. Terry Bowyer
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 80, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 633-638
Published by: American Society of Mammalogists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1383307
Page Count: 6
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We studied scent marking (rubbing of trees and wallowing) by lekking fallow deer (Dama dama) in central Italy during October 1995. We hypothesized that composition of tree species and their location and physical properties affected scent marking and thereby played a role in the selection of sites for leks. Wallows of fallow deer were located adjacent to rubbed trees; wallows in 73% of 200 sites occurred within ≤3 m from a tree. Deer wallowed preferentially near Pistacia and Juniperus. Trees rubbed by deer occurred more often along roads (24%) than inside the woodland (5.8%). Only Pistacia was rubbed more often that its proportional occurrence in the environment. Regardless of tree species, fallow deer selected those trees with the greatest height, largest diameter, and greatest number of stems for scent marking. The species composition of trees on two leks differed from surrounding areas. Fallow deer rubbed trees differently inside and outside of leks, and within leks they selected Juniperus and Myrtus. The close spatial association of wallows and rubbed trees, however, indicated the function of these two scent marks may be related.
Journal of Mammalogy © 1999 American Society of Mammalogists