Pattern and controls of reproduction of the southern African rodent Gerbillurus paeba in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa

R. M. White*, G. I.H. Kerley, R. T.F. Bernard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pattern and controls of reproductive activity of the hairy-footed gerbil, Gerbillurus paeba, were investigated in the semi-arid environment of the Karoo, South Africa. Animals (N = 62) were collected monthly for 14 months. Although some animals appeared to be capable of breeding throughout the year, successful breeding was observed only in summer months. Reproductive activity was related positively to mean monthly rainfall and negatively to actual rainfall and was associated with variations in minimum temperatures and photoperiod. An opportunistic reproductive strategy was proposed with the timing and controls of reproduction being sex, population and habitat specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-549
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

Keywords

  • Arid environment
  • Gerbillurus paeba
  • Karoo
  • Reproduction
  • Reproductive strategies
  • Rodent
  • Seasonality

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