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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Paternity and mating system in wolverines Gulo gulo

Hedmark E, Persson J, Segerstrom P, Landa A, Ellegren H


Knowledge of the wolverine Gulo gulo mating system is limited. In this study, we use 20 microsatellite loci for paternity testing in 145 wolverine offspring with known mothers. Samples were collected during > 10 years in two Scandinavian populations, mainly in connection with radio-telemetry studies and as part of long-term population monitoring. In total, 51% of the offspring were assigned a father. Our results demonstrate that the wolverine exhibits a polygamous mating system as some males were shown to produce offspring with more than one female in a single year. Females often reproduced with the same male in subsequent breeding years, but sometimes changed their partner, potentially as a consequence of a change in the territory-holding male in the area. In the majority of litters, siblings were unambiguously assigned the same father, indicating that multiple paternity is rare. Of 23 breeding pairs, for which telemetry data were available, 20 had overlapping home ranges, suggesting that pair formation generally is consistent with the territories held by wolverine males and females

Published in

Wildlife Biology
2007, Volume: 13, pages: 13-30

    SLU Authors

    • Persson, Jens

      • Department of Conservation Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Segerström, Peter

        • Department of Conservation Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Publication Identifiers


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