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Cooperative Breeding of Buff-Throated Partridges in Two Natural Populations: Demographic Comparison with a Habituated Population

Cooperative Breeding of Buff-Throated Partridges in Two Natural Populations: Demographic Comparison with a Habituated Population

Bin Wang, Bo Zhang, Nan Yang, Liang Dou and Jianghong Ran*

Key Laboratory of Bio-Resources and Eco-Environment of Ministry Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China

* Corresponding author: 1395024546@qq.com

ABSTRACT

The buff-throated partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii) is endemic to western China and is known to cooperatively breed in a population habituated to supplemental feeding by humans. The social structure and demography of this species, however, have not been examined in natural populations. To determine if cooperative breeding occurs in populations unassociated with humans, we surveyed two natural populations in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western China. We compared the demography of the natural populations with that of the habituated population. The results showed that facultative cooperative breeding occurred in the two natural populations, but population density, group density, and the frequency of cooperative breeding were lower in the two natural populations than in the habituated population. We conclude that the cooperative breeding system is a facultative breeding strategy in both natural and habituated buff-throated partridge, and suggest that variation in food resources might cause variation in demography and the frequency of cooperative breeding among populations.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology (Associated Journals)

October

Vol. 49, Iss. 5, Pages 1547-1936

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