Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

The role of social structure and kin associations in the mating system of the polygynous New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) Thesis

Foote, I. N. M.
Publisher / Organisation
University of Otago
Phocarctos hookeri, NZ sea lion, Hooker sea lion
NZ sealion, mating system, breeding, social structure, polygyny
Mating structure describes the number of mates individuals of each sex are able to acquire, as well as the variance in reproductive success between individuals of the same sex. Such structure has important evolutionary implications for populations. The social structure of a population can have large influences on the mating structure, by determining who interacts with whom in the population and consequently each individual’s reproductive success. Kin clustering is a type of social structure that allows the interaction of related individuals in such a way as to increase both direct and indirect fitness, but can also have negative consequences on the population such as the negative effects of inbreeding. Accordingly, ecologists are becoming increasingly interested in how the molecular composition of populations, that is the distribution of genetically related individuals, influences a mating system.