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Data from: Mother-offspring distances reflect sex differences in fine-scale genetic structure of eastern grey kangaroos

Citation

King, Wendy J.; Garant, Dany; Festa-Bianchet, Marco (2016), Data from: Mother-offspring distances reflect sex differences in fine-scale genetic structure of eastern grey kangaroos, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b999q

Abstract

Natal dispersal affects life history and population biology and causes gene flow. In mammals, dispersal is usually male-biased so that females tend to be philopatric and surrounded by matrilineal kin, which may lead to preferential associations among female kin. Here we combine genetic analyses and behavioral observations to investigate spatial genetic structure and sex-biased dispersal patterns in a high-density population of mammals showing fission–fusion group dynamics. We studied eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) over 2 years at Wilsons Promontory National Park, Australia, and found weak fine-scale genetic structure among adult females in both years but no structure among adult males. Immature male kangaroos moved away from their mothers at 18–25 months of age, while immature females remained near their mothers until older. A higher proportion of male (34%) than female (6%) subadults and young adults were observed to disperse, although median distances of detected dispersals were similar for both sexes. Adult females had overlapping ranges that were far wider than the maximum extent of spatial genetic structure found. Female kangaroos, although weakly philopatric, mostly encounter nonrelatives in fission–fusion groups at high density, and therefore kinship is unlikely to strongly affect sociality.

Usage Notes

Location

Wilsons Promontory National Park
Australia