The first objectives of this study were to investigate the social organization and the apparent consequences of dominance in a captive group of adult California bighorn ewes at the Okanagan Game Farm in Penticton, British Columbia. Hypotheses tested were (1) A relatively stable linear hierarchy would be established among the ewes, (2) Age, horn size, and body size would be directly correlated to social status, (3) Dominant animals would, during months of limited available forage, have access to higher quality foraging areas and would, as a result, remain on a higher plane of nutrition than subordinate animals, (4) Access to high quality foraging areas would increase intake and assimilation rates and reduce the daily grazing times of dominants over those subordinates, (5) Dominant ewes, because of their higher plane of nutrition, would better survive the physiological stresses of winter and, as a result, would be in better physical condition and have a higher reproductive output than ewes of lower social rank.
Eccles, R.. 1983. Aspects of Social Organization and Diurnal Activity Patterns of California Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis California Douglas 1829). Ministry of Environment. Wildlife Report. R8
Keywords: California bighorn sheep, dominance, foraging, nutrition, physiology, activity budgets, energy
Scientific Name: Ovis canadensis
English Name: Bighorn Sheep
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