Females presence and males agonistic encounters in fallow deer, Dama dama during the rut
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Conflicts and fights are frequent during the rut of fallow deer. The numbers of encounters with and without females present were nearly equal with similar proportions of encounters when females accompanied one or both of the males. Fighting occurred in 39.5 % of the encounters. Female presence had a negligible effect on the probability of an encounter escalating into a fight. However, fights tended to escalate more frequently when there were no females present. Vocalizations were recorded in most encounters and occurred irrespectively of female presence. Bucks were more likely to engage with conspecific with females. When both opponents had female consorts with them, the probability of desertion of the females was significantly lower compared to when the only one male had some females. The presence of females did not affect male agonistic behaviour during the rut.
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