Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Successful reproduction in a single breeding event has consistently been shown to reduce condition, fecundity and survival to the following breeding season. Few studies have examined the cumulative costs of frequent reproduction on survival. Here we use a dataset of female red deer (Cervus elaphus) from the Isle of Rum, Scotland, to model survival probability within a mark-recapture framework. By including both recent reproduction and long-term cumulative reproductive effort in the models we tested whether knowledge of lifetime reproductive effort improves our estimates of survival probability. We found that the fit of the model was significantly improved with the inclusion of longer-term measures of reproductive history. Heterogeneity in the reproductive performance of individuals influenced the expected survival cost of reproduction, with high cumulative reproductive effort associated with high survival, except with individuals reproducing in their first year where reproduction was associated with a decrease in survival. This work emphasises the need to account for reproductive history when estimating the survival probabilities of animals. © OIKOS.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





241 - 252