Sexual dimorphism, survival and dispersal in red deer
Catchpole EA., Fan Y., Morgan BJT., Clutton-Brock TH., Coulson T.
A detailed and extensive mark-recapture-recovery study of red deer on the island of Rum forms the basis of the modeling of this article. We analyze male and female deer separately, and report results for both in this article, but use the female data to demonstrate our modeling approach. We provide a model-selection procedure that allows us to describe the survival by a combination of age-classes, with common survival within each class, and senility, which is modeled continuously as a parametric function of age. Dispersal out of the study area is modeled separately. Survival and dispersal probabilities are examined for the possible influence of both environmental and individual covariates, including a range of alternative measures of population density. The resulting model is succinct and biologically realistic. We compare and contrast survival rates of male and female deer of different ages and compare the factors that affect their survival. We demonstrate large differences in the rate of senescence between males and females even though their senescence begins at the same age. The differences between the sexes suggest that, in population modeling of sexually size-dimorphic species, it is important to identify sex-specific survival functions. © 2004 American Statistical Association and the International Biometric Society.