CZAAWE Resource Article

Dominance hierarchy in a herd of female eland antelope (Taurotragus oryx) in captivity
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20003.abs The dominance hierarchy of a group of adult female elands (n=10) kept in captivity was followed for 34 months. Outcomes of dominance relationships at the beginning and end of the study were compared. A clear dominance hierarchy existed in the herd. The dominance pattern was complex, but triads were predominantly (95%) transitive or linear. Reversal of dominance occurred in 12 dyads (27%), of which eight (67%) involved a single female. Two females shared the most dominant rank at the beginning of the study. One of these two females and another female later assumed the highest dominance rank on different occasions. A single female remained most subordinate throughout the study period. The correlation between body weight and dominance rank was not significant (r=0.46; P=0.21). Similarly, dominance rank was not associated with the taming potential of the females. However, the median dominance value increased in females with good taming potential, while it decreased in those with poor taming potential. In conclusion, captive eland antelope have a dynamic and complex dominance hierarchy that is predominantly linear. Zoo Biol 23:323–333, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.