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PHILIP U. ALKON

Parameters of reproduction in a Lower Galilee chukar partridge population were estimated from reproductive organs of 200 males and females collected during a 25-month period. Results pertain mainly to gonadal weight and to the histological status of testes. Data on oviducal weight and the size of ovarian follicles are also given. Both sexes exhibited pronounced annual cycles. Gonadal recrudescence began in January; spermiogenesis was first observed in early February; and gonadal maturity was probably achieved in all buds by late February or early March. Reproductive development may have begun earlier in 1971 than 1970. Gonadal regression occurred by late May in females during both years and in males during 1970. However, most males still had mature testes in late May of 1971, a year of poor reproductive performance and more intense social conflict.

DANNY AIZIK AFIK and PHILIP U. ALKON

An adult female wolf, live-captured and equipped with a collar transmitter in February 1982, was radio-tracked and observed visually for 7 months in the Sede Boqer region of the Negev highlands. She was accompanied by an adult male throughout the study. Based on 36 relocations, the minimum home range of the pair was estimated as 60.3 km2 but may have been much smaller in summer. A maximum daily movement of 10.5 km (straight line) was observed. The animals rested during the day, and were active at night when they foraged at refuse dumps. They did not breed successfully nor use permanent dens. Other wolves were absent from their range during most of the study, but one den of a female and litter was found about 3 km from home range boundary, and a pack of nine wolves appeared in the area in August 1982.

DANIEL M. MÜLLER, STEPHAN G. KOHLMANN and PHILIP U. ALKON

In spring 1987, a novel “nursery” was observed among Nubian ibex (Capra ibex nubinana) at Avedat Canyon in the Negev desert highlands of southern Israel, where many young ibex kids occurred together within a concavity in a steep canyon wall. Ibex dams left their kids unattended at the site for prolonged periods while they foraged at adjacent plateaus and wadis, and returned only to nurse and rest. In its fourth consecutive year of existence, the nursery at Avedat Canyon was active from IS March to 20 April, and had a peak occupancy of 26 kids and 19 adult females on 7 April. Once kids became entrapped inside the nursery, ibex dams spent on average 52 ± 40 min in behaviors apparently aiming to “encourage” kids to follow them out of the nursery. Mothers and kids were highly excited during these bouts. Average residence times in 1989 and 1990 were 7.5 ± 5.2 days for single kids and 14.6 ± 5.2 days for twins. Dams appeared to attend only their own kids when they returned to the nursery, were often aggressive to presumed alien kids, and were agonistic towards other females while in or approaching the nursery. Three nursery kids fell to their death while in the nursery. No instances of communal care or allo-parenting were detected in the present study, nor have they been previously reported. Thus, we believe the site is not a “creche". Moreover, most kids appeared to be accidentally trapped at the nursery owing to topographical barriers, and not intentionally sequestered there by their mothers. The special physiography of the site and substantial human disturbance on the canyon floor probably contributed to the origin of the nursery and its continued existence.