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Individual differences |
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The breeding season is the most suitable season, usually with favourable conditions and abundant food and water, for breeding among those wild animals and birds who are seasonal breeders. Species with a breeding season have naturally evolved to have sexual intercourse during a certain time of year in order to achieve the best reproductive success. Different species of wild animal and birds have different breeding seasons according to their particular habitat requirements and food availability. Abiotic factors such as the timing of seasonal rains and winds can also play an important role in breeding onset and success.(C.Michael Hogan. 2010). So for example Sheep mate in the fall and give birth early in the spring so that when the offspring are weaned grass etc becomes available and gives them the maximum amount of time to put on weight etc to deal with their first winter.
Many species breed in colonies or large communities which is known as communal breeding. It is common to see large congregations of these species in particular favourable locations in their breeding seasons. These breeding colonies and their location are generally protected by wildlife conservation laws to keep the species from going extinct. Some species have evolved for communal breeding in large breeding colonies and can not breed in smaller numbers or pairs alone. These species can be threatened by imminent extinction if they are hunted on their breeding grounds or if their breeding colonies are destroyed. The Passenger pigeon is a famous example of probably the most numerous land bird on the American continent which had evolved for communal breeding that went extinct due to large scale hunting in its communal breeding grounds during the breeding season and its inability to breed in smaller numbers.(Jerram L. Brown. 1978)
- Animal breeding
- Biological rhythms
- Circannual rhythm
- Cooperative breeding
- Mating system
- Seasonal variation
- “Breeding Season”; by Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye; www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds
- Jerram L. Brown, "Helping and Communal Breeding" in Birds 70-75 (1987)
- Jerram L. Brown, "Avian Communal Breeding Systems", Ann. Rev. Ecology & Systematics 9:123 (1978)
- Stephen T. Emlen & Sandra L. Vehrencamp, "Cooperative Breeding Strategies among Birds", in Perspectives in Ornithology, 93 (Alan H. Brush & George A. Clark, Jr. eds., 1983)
- C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Abiotic factor. Encyclopedia of Earth. eds Emily Monosson and C. Cleveland. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC