Abstract Previous studies have shown that several factors including sex, age, tick density, and season affect oral grooming behavior of reintroduced Père David’s deer in Dafeng Nature Reserve, China, and reintroduction of wild animals should consider if they retain regular grooming patterns thus to control ectoparasites, especially the ticks. In this study we further examined two more factors, social rank and food availability, which might influence grooming behavior of Père David’s deer. Harem masters, who usually have a higher level of testosterone, are predicted to groom less than bachelors during the rutting season. However, we did not find any differences in rate of grooming behavior between the harem master and bachelors probably due to the late rutting season when the testosterone levels have fallen off. Food supplementation might affect grooming behavior since released foraging pressure would provide much more time for other behaviors such as grooming. However, we did not find an effect of food availability, probably due to an increase of vigilance instead of grooming in the pavilion population. Our results suggest that more explorations are needed such as changing observation time and excluding the interference of visitors.
LI Zhongqiu E-mail: email@example.com