Sexual selection and mating chronology of Lesser Prairie-Chickens

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
By: , and 



Little is known about mate selection and lek dynamics of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). We collected data on male territory size and location on leks, behavior, and morphological characteristics and assessed the importance of these variables on male Lesser Prairie-Chicken mating success during spring 2008 and 2009 in the Texas Southern High Plains. We used discrete choice models and found that males that were less idle were chosen more often for mating. Our results also suggest that males with smaller territories obtained more copulations. Morphological characteristics were weaker predictors of male mating success. Peak female attendance at leks occurred during the 1-week interval starting 13 April during both years of study. Male prairie-chickens appear to make exploratory movements to, and from, leks early in the lekking season; 13 of 19 males banded early (23 Feb–13 Mar) in the lekking season departed the lek of capture and were not reobserved (11 yearlings, 2 adults). Thirty-three percent (range  =  26–51%) of males on a lek mated (yearlings  =  44%, adults  =  20%) and males that were more active experienced greater mating success.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Sexual selection and mating chronology of Lesser Prairie-Chickens
Series title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/11-079.1
Volume 124
Issue 1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher The Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 10 p.
First page 96
Last page 105
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