Home-range behaviour and social organization of Scottish blackface sheep

A. B. Lawrence, D. G M Wood-Gush

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Some ewes adhered to a common area and did not mix indiscriminately with sheep from adjacent groups. The group occupied a winter range from the middle of October to the end of March. The summer range was an expansion of the winter range. There was little variability between individual group members' movement patterns during occupation of the winter range. Expansion into the summer range was accompanied by a considerable increase in the variability of home-range behaviour. By dispersing in summer and adopting variable movement patterns, ewes may have benefited by reducing feeding competition, and foraged more efficiently on the patchy distribution of hill pastures and other preferred swards. Individuals tended to use the same area each summer. On return to the winter range, however, animals mixed at random relative to the previous summer, suggesting that specific bonds between individuals are not crucial to maintenance of Ovis aries home-range groups. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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