Sexual dimorphism and energy expenditure
for reproduction in female fisher,
Martes pennanti

Roger A. Powell

Richard D. Leonard

Department of Zoology,
The University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2

 

R. A. Powell, Depts of Zoology and Forestry, North Carolina State Univ., P.O. Box 5577, Raleigh, NC 27650, U.S.A.

R. D. Leonard, Parks Canada, 391 York Av., 4th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3C 4B7.

 

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Powell, R.A., and R.D. Leonard. 1983. Sexual dimorphism and energy expenditure for reproduction in female fisher, Martes pennanti. Oikos 40: 166-174.

 

Abstract

We develop a model for the energy expenditure of a lactating female fisher. The model includes energy expenditure for maintenance, hunting, prey capture, lactation, climbing and thermoregulation. Using radio telemetry, we followed the activities of a female fisher with kits in Manitoba, Canada and applied our model to this animal. These are the first estimates of energy expenditure and energy requirements of a free-living female mustelid during lactation. When the kits were small, the female spent as much as 21 h per d away from them hunting, travelling over 13 km, and expended as much as 2285 kJ. Our estimates of energy expenditure for a female fisher during lactation support the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism in body size is related to energy budgets in the Mustelidae.

 


 

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