Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Frey R., Maymanakova I.L. 2013. Vocal activity and acoustic structure of the rutting calls of Siberian wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus) and their imitation with a hunting luring instrument // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.12. No.2: 99–106 [in English].

Ilya A. Volodin [volodinsvoc@gmail.com], Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobievy Gory 1/12, Moscow 119991, Russia;

Elena V. Volodina [volodinsvoc@mail.ru], Scientific Research Department, Moscow Zoo, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya str. 1, Moscow 123242, Russia;

Roland Frey [Frey@IZW-berlin.de], Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin, Germany;

Inna L. Maymanakova [inna_maymanakova@mail.ru], The Nature State Reserve “Khakassian”, Tsukanov str. 164, Abakan 655017, Republic of Khakassia, Russia.

KEY WORDS: mammals, Cervidae, vocal behaviour, rutting bugles, alarm calls.

ABSTRACT. This study on Siberian wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus) provides data on rutting vocal activity (bugles per hour), collected using four synchronized automated recording systems in natural habitats in the Western Sayan Mountains (Russia). Also, this study provides first comparison of naturally produced male bugles with their imitation using a traditional hunting technique of blowing into a hollow pipe with a mouthpiece. Stag vocal activity weakly negatively correlated to air temperature and ceased completely during three very cold days with snowfall. Stag bugles (n = 153) were high-pitched, with an average maximum fundamental frequency (f0) of 1.23±0.21 kHz, a minimum f0 of 0.29±0.05 kHz and a duration of 3.07±0.52 s. Hind alarm barks (n = 12) were significantly lower in maximum f0 = 0.93±0.08 kHz, significantly higher in minimum f0 = 0.34±0.06 kHz and much shorter (0.20±0.03 s) compared to male bugles. Male bugles were similar in the acoustic structure with their imitations, produced by a human using a luring wind instrument (n = 27), what provides a support to the hypothesis of forced airflow through a narrow, highly tensed larynx and vocal tract as a production mechanism of the extremely high-pitched bugles of wapiti.

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