Family Relationships and Groups

Our model for social aggregation into hunting groups is based primarily on the mother calf bond, which probably persists for female calves until they begin to reproduce and nearly indefinitely for male offspring unless an older brother is already present (Baird and Whitehead 2000). Dispersal of females occurs with the birth of their first calf (see demographics for age of first reproduction). For males in groups with an older male sibling already resident, dispersal occurs at sexual maturity which is currently set at age 12.