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Journal Article

Survival Rates in a Nonharvested Brown Hare Population

Eric Marboutin and Kurt Hansen
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 772-779
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802354
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802354
Page Count: 8
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Survival Rates in a Nonharvested Brown Hare Population
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Abstract

Survival in the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is poorly documented because only life tables and other nonrobust methods have been used to estimate constant annual survival rates. We used recent developments in mark-recapture analysis to model survival patterns in a Danish hare population monitored from 1957 to 1970. Goodness-of-fit tests revealed that the Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) model was an adequate starting point for adults, and age-dependence was considered in modeling survival of yearlings. We found no differences in annual survival rates (φ) from 1957 to 1967 in adults, but males survived better than females ($\phi _{\text{males}}$ = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.50-0.61; $\phi _{\text{females}}$ = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.44-0.56). Yearling survival rates were time dependent and varied with winter severity, sex, and mass. Indeed, body mass strongly influenced the survival of yearling hares: larger animals (≥3 kg) had higher survival rates than smaller animals, in both males and females (φ = 0.40-0.68 for heavy males and φ = 0.20-0.44 for lighter males; φ = 0.31-0.52 for heavy females and φ = 0.22-0.40 for lighter females). These variations in survival rates were parallel between body mass classes over time (modeled as a function of winter temperature) within each sex.

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