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Breeding in the wild is the natural process of animal reproduction occurring in the natural habitat of a given species. This terminology is distinct from animal husbandry or breeding of species in captivity. Breeding locations are often chosen for very specific requirements of shelter and proximity to food; moreover, the breeding season is a particular time window that has evolved for each species to suit species anatomical, climatic and other ecological temporal events. Many species migrate considerable distances to reach the requisite breeding locations. Certain common characteristics apply to various taxa within the animal kingdom, which traits are often sorted among amphibians, reptiles, mammals, avafauna, arthropods and lower life forms.
For many amphibians an annual breeding cycle applies, typically regulated by ambient temperature, precipitation, availability of surface water and food supply. This breeding season is accentuated in temperate regions, where prolonged aestivation or hibernation renders many amphibian species inactive for prolonged periods. Breeding habitats are typically ponds and streams.
Annual breeding cycles sometimes apply to mammals, with regulating environmental effects including seasonal temperature variation and food availability. Migration patterns of a mammal may sometimes govern breeding times. Mammal breeding in the wild sometimes the use of maternity dens for birthing and protection of the young. The Polar Bear is an example of a mammal who uses a maternity den, whose locations are influenced by migration movements of this species to the seasonal Arctic pack ices. In particular the Polar Bears who breed in Wapusk National Park need to migrate to the Hudson Bay pack ice.
- Michael F. Braby (2004) The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia, Published by CSIRO Publishing, 339 pages ISBN 0643090274
- Miron L. Heinselman (1996) The Boundary Waters Wilderness ecosystem, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 081662805X
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus, Globaltwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg
- William J. Sutherland (1996) Ecological Census Techniques: A Handbook, Cambridge University Press, 336 pages ISBN 0521478154
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