Date of Award
Master of Science
We investigated site-fidelity and behavioral patterns of territorial male guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. The study took place over a 10-year period, with extensive work in the final years, 1997-1999. Guanacos have a social system of resource-defense polygyny with fluid movement of females between male territories. After the annual winter migration, males establish territories in the spring and maintain them until late fall. Territorial males can be categorized into one of two social group types, Solo Territorial Males and Family Group Territorial Males. We collected data on territory type, location, size, and behavior for tagged, known-age males. Both Solo Territorial Males and Family Group Territorial Males were also observed to compare the activity time budgets of males in differing social groups and habitats. We compared individual male territorial philopatry between the mating (8 December - 11 January) and non-mating periods within the six-month territorial season (1 October - 15 March) each year and for individual male territory locations between multiple years.Most males remained in the same location both within and between territorial seasons. Solo Territorial Males and Family Group Territorial Males exhibit similar patterns, although some Solo Territorial Males shifted territorial locations between years. We found no difference in the activity time budgets of males based on social group type, total number of females present, or total number of guanacos present. There was a difference in the amount of time spent alert and in other activities based on habitat type. It is likely that territorial male guanaco behaviors are directly related to the resources defended rather than their ability to attract potential mates. Although it is not possible to predict breeding success of territorial males by behaviors, the high predictability of male territory sites within a given year and between years has short- and long-term benefits for research and conservation efforts.
Julie Kirsten Young
Young, Julie Kirsten, "Territorial fidelity and behavior of male guanacos in the Patagonia of southern Chile" (2000). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 17456.