eCite Digital Repository

Fitness consequences of maternal rearing strategies in warthogs: influence of group size and composition


White, AM and Cameron, EZ, Fitness consequences of maternal rearing strategies in warthogs: influence of group size and composition, Journal of Zoology, (285) pp. 77-84. ISSN 0952-8369 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00816.x


Cooperatively breeding species are defined by the presence of individuals who help in rearing the offspring of others. This seemingly altruistic behaviour has been difficult to define and the help provided has not always resulted in a reproductive advantage to the recipient. We examine maternal rearing strategies in the common warthog, Phacochoerus africanus, a facultative, cooperative breeder that displays variation in the number of reproductive and non-reproductively aged individuals in a group. We compare rearing strategies in adult females to assess whether group size or group composition increases the production and survival of group off- spring. We found that although the number of offspring observed in groups with multiple adult females was larger than the number of offspring observed in groups with only one adult female, the average number of offspring observed per female was similar. Additionally, maternal rearing strategy had no effect on the survival of dependant offspring and variation in offspring survival could not be explained by either the number of reproductive or non-reproductive individuals per off- spring. Taken together, these results suggest that the differences in maternal rearing strategies may not benefit dependent offspring, but we suggest that grouping between reproductive females may increase the survival of yearlings through group augmentation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal developmental and reproductive biology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
ID Code:73389
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-10-03
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page