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Sex and Age-class Differences in Vocalizations of Roosevelt Elk During Rut
R. Terry Bowyer and David W. Kitchen
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 118, No. 2 (Oct., 1987), pp. 225-235
Published by: The University of Notre Dame
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425779
Page Count: 11
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Vocalizations of free-ranging Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) were studied at Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Humboldt Co., California, from August through November 1973. Significant differences were found in types and rates of elk vocalizations among different sex and age classes. Bull vocalizations varied with age and social status. Sonograph analyses revealed structural similarities in elk cohesion calls, bugles and yelps; bugles and yelps may be elaborations of cohesion calls. Bugling and yelping by master bulls occurred primarily in male-female encounters and may have functioned to bring cows closer together; bulls bugled most often when the harem was widely dispersed. Bulls vocalized less frequently in aggressive interactions between bulls where bugling and yelping clearly were related to male dominance.
The American Midland Naturalist © 1987 The University of Notre Dame