Title : The female mate-choice process on an antelope lek
Speaker : Dr Kavita Isvaran , Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Bangalore.
Date : 24/03/2017 , Seminar Hall, First Floor.
Lek-mating systems, in which males defend tiny, clustered display-territories visited by females in search of mates, have attracted much attention because of the potential for strong sexual selection, particularly through female choice of mates. However, the role of female choice is controversial in mammalian leks; instead, male harassment of females and male-male competition are often proposed to be the main processes underlying mating patterns on leks. These hypotheses have been difficult to test because most studies focus on male mating strategies and relatively little is known about the female mate- choice process on leks. Here, I focus on the behaviour of blackbuck antelope females and evaluate the relative influence of female mating preferences, male harassment, and intrasexual competition on female movements and visits on leks and on mating patterns on leks. I also use work on male mating behaviour to show that behavioural decisions can have larger consequences for the population and even for other species interacting with the focal species.