Reproductive aspects of American minks (Neovison vison) in central Spain

Testing the effects of prey availability

Pablo García-Díaz (Corresponding Author), Miguel Lizana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some reproductive components of fitness (breeding times, litter size and the proportion of breeding females per year) of two feral populations of American minks in central Spain were investigated by means of direct observation from 2006 to 2010. The effects of prey availability were explored. Mating season was from February to March. Parturition dates did not differ between the two sites and pooled births took place between April (33.3%) and July (2.8%), peaking in May (40.3%). Mean litter size (the number of small cubs following their mother) was 3.43 ± 1.01 cubs (±SD; n = 30) with statistical significant differences between the two study sites. The strong seasonality in births and differences in litter size were related to prey availability (i.e. these are food-limited life-history traits), but in a complex non-linear fashion. A minimum value of prey abundance is necessary to breed. While litter size rises with prey abundance, there is a point where increasing prey did not result in an increase in litter size. Up to 75% of the females in the breeding pool reared cubs each year in both areas, which represents a somewhat high pool of breeding females. Delayed implantation is shorter than a month or does not exist in these populations. Such a short time-span seems to emerge because longer delays would have an important fitness cost to females. The breeding calendar and the litter size were similar to that reported previously from other areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages8
JournalMammalian Biology
Volume78
Issue number2
Early online date6 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Fingerprint

Neovison vison
litter size
prey availability
Spain
breeding
testing
breeding season
fitness
parturition
life history trait
seasonality
effect
life history
breeds
food
cost

Keywords

  • breeding
  • fecundity
  • food-limitation
  • information theory
  • invasive species
  • mustelidae

Cite this

@article{2c9623d33858425da045b2e313cb54f0,
title = "Reproductive aspects of American minks (Neovison vison) in central Spain: Testing the effects of prey availability",
abstract = "Some reproductive components of fitness (breeding times, litter size and the proportion of breeding females per year) of two feral populations of American minks in central Spain were investigated by means of direct observation from 2006 to 2010. The effects of prey availability were explored. Mating season was from February to March. Parturition dates did not differ between the two sites and pooled births took place between April (33.3{\%}) and July (2.8{\%}), peaking in May (40.3{\%}). Mean litter size (the number of small cubs following their mother) was 3.43 ± 1.01 cubs (±SD; n = 30) with statistical significant differences between the two study sites. The strong seasonality in births and differences in litter size were related to prey availability (i.e. these are food-limited life-history traits), but in a complex non-linear fashion. A minimum value of prey abundance is necessary to breed. While litter size rises with prey abundance, there is a point where increasing prey did not result in an increase in litter size. Up to 75{\%} of the females in the breeding pool reared cubs each year in both areas, which represents a somewhat high pool of breeding females. Delayed implantation is shorter than a month or does not exist in these populations. Such a short time-span seems to emerge because longer delays would have an important fitness cost to females. The breeding calendar and the litter size were similar to that reported previously from other areas.",
keywords = "breeding, fecundity, food-limitation, information theory, invasive species, mustelidae",
author = "Pablo Garc{\'i}a-D{\'i}az and Miguel Lizana",
note = "The authors want to thank P. Garc{\'i}a, D. D{\'i}az, V. Ar{\'e}valo, M. Querejeta, I. Olivera, R. de la Cruz, G. Hern{\'a}ndez, R. Vicente and A. de la Puente for their support and help during the fieldwork. R. Powell, H. Kruuk, F. Trillmich, J. Carranza and two anonymous reviewers made important comments that helped us to improve previous versions of the manuscript. This work has been partially supported by the projects “Distribuci{\'o}n y estado de conservaci{\'o}n de los vertebrados bioindicadores y amenazados de los medios acu{\'a}ticos de las sierras de la provincia de Salamanca (key: 18.JCY4 463A.C.03. Orden EDU/940/2009)” of the Government of the Junta de Castilla y Le{\'o}n, Spain, and “Estudio del desm{\'a}n ib{\'e}rico en la provincia de Salamanca” Asociaci{\'o}n Galemia-Universidad de Salamanca.",
year = "2013",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1016/j.mambio.2012.11.002",
language = "English",
volume = "78",
pages = "111--117",
journal = "Mammalian Biology",
issn = "1616-5047",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reproductive aspects of American minks (Neovison vison) in central Spain

T2 - Testing the effects of prey availability

AU - García-Díaz, Pablo

AU - Lizana, Miguel

N1 - The authors want to thank P. García, D. Díaz, V. Arévalo, M. Querejeta, I. Olivera, R. de la Cruz, G. Hernández, R. Vicente and A. de la Puente for their support and help during the fieldwork. R. Powell, H. Kruuk, F. Trillmich, J. Carranza and two anonymous reviewers made important comments that helped us to improve previous versions of the manuscript. This work has been partially supported by the projects “Distribución y estado de conservación de los vertebrados bioindicadores y amenazados de los medios acuáticos de las sierras de la provincia de Salamanca (key: 18.JCY4 463A.C.03. Orden EDU/940/2009)” of the Government of the Junta de Castilla y León, Spain, and “Estudio del desmán ibérico en la provincia de Salamanca” Asociación Galemia-Universidad de Salamanca.

PY - 2013/2

Y1 - 2013/2

N2 - Some reproductive components of fitness (breeding times, litter size and the proportion of breeding females per year) of two feral populations of American minks in central Spain were investigated by means of direct observation from 2006 to 2010. The effects of prey availability were explored. Mating season was from February to March. Parturition dates did not differ between the two sites and pooled births took place between April (33.3%) and July (2.8%), peaking in May (40.3%). Mean litter size (the number of small cubs following their mother) was 3.43 ± 1.01 cubs (±SD; n = 30) with statistical significant differences between the two study sites. The strong seasonality in births and differences in litter size were related to prey availability (i.e. these are food-limited life-history traits), but in a complex non-linear fashion. A minimum value of prey abundance is necessary to breed. While litter size rises with prey abundance, there is a point where increasing prey did not result in an increase in litter size. Up to 75% of the females in the breeding pool reared cubs each year in both areas, which represents a somewhat high pool of breeding females. Delayed implantation is shorter than a month or does not exist in these populations. Such a short time-span seems to emerge because longer delays would have an important fitness cost to females. The breeding calendar and the litter size were similar to that reported previously from other areas.

AB - Some reproductive components of fitness (breeding times, litter size and the proportion of breeding females per year) of two feral populations of American minks in central Spain were investigated by means of direct observation from 2006 to 2010. The effects of prey availability were explored. Mating season was from February to March. Parturition dates did not differ between the two sites and pooled births took place between April (33.3%) and July (2.8%), peaking in May (40.3%). Mean litter size (the number of small cubs following their mother) was 3.43 ± 1.01 cubs (±SD; n = 30) with statistical significant differences between the two study sites. The strong seasonality in births and differences in litter size were related to prey availability (i.e. these are food-limited life-history traits), but in a complex non-linear fashion. A minimum value of prey abundance is necessary to breed. While litter size rises with prey abundance, there is a point where increasing prey did not result in an increase in litter size. Up to 75% of the females in the breeding pool reared cubs each year in both areas, which represents a somewhat high pool of breeding females. Delayed implantation is shorter than a month or does not exist in these populations. Such a short time-span seems to emerge because longer delays would have an important fitness cost to females. The breeding calendar and the litter size were similar to that reported previously from other areas.

KW - breeding

KW - fecundity

KW - food-limitation

KW - information theory

KW - invasive species

KW - mustelidae

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84875376916&partnerID=MN8TOARS

U2 - 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.11.002

DO - 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.11.002

M3 - Article

VL - 78

SP - 111

EP - 117

JO - Mammalian Biology

JF - Mammalian Biology

SN - 1616-5047

IS - 2

ER -