Age- and tactic-related paternity success in male African elephants (2007) ?Behavioral Ecology
Information on age- and tactic-related paternity success is essential for understanding the lifetime reproductive strategy of males and constitutes an important component of the fitness trade-offs that shape the life-history traits of a species. The degree of reproductive skew impacts the genetic structure of a population and should be considered when developing conservation strategies for threatened species. The behavior and genetic structure of species with large reproductive skew may be disproportionately impacted by anthropogenic actions affecting reproductively dominant individuals. Our results on age- and tactic-specific paternity success in male African elephants are the first from a free-ranging population and demonstrate that paternity success increases dramatically with age, with the small number of older bulls in the competitive state of musth being the most successful sires.