Masters thesis, Aarhus Univeristy, Denmark
The present thesis investigates aspects of the reproductive strategy of male African savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana). The existence of, and differences between alternative conditional dependent reproductive tactics are evaluated using a combination of behavioural, endocrinological and GPS tracking data and the age and tactic related success is measured using genetic paternity analysis.?Hidden Markov Models were used as a probabilistic framework for analysing temporal changes in reproductively active and inactive periods based on shifts in association preferences of individuals. Distinct shifts between active and inactive periods were evident well before the onset of the aggressive reproductive tactic of musth, seen in older dominant males, hence providing the first quantitative evidence for the previously suggested sexually active periods in non-musth males.