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Mating system, relatedness and social organization in the great spotted cuckoo - a study using microsatellite markers and telemetry


This project aims to investigate the mating system of an avian brood parasite, the great spotted cuckoo. We will use microsatellite loci to study paternity, mate choice and relatedness between adult cuckoos. This will be supplemented with telemetry data from the same birds to elucidate the organisation and social relationships within the group of individuals breeding in the same area. Both kind of data together will enable us to determine the mating system of the species, the existence of pair bonds between adults, the occurrence of extra-pair behaviour and the pattern of egg laying of females. The data will confirm the extent of host nest sharing between females (several parasitic females laying in the same host nest) and will point out the possible reasons and mechanisms underlying this, such as the existence or absence of territorial behaviour. Finally, the study will allow us to know whether all the individuals in a plot are breeding or not, and the social and genetic relationships between them.


Universidad de Granada
Campus Fuente Nueva S/n
18071 Granada

Participants (1)

Not available