Dispersal of individuals can be defined as movement and settling outside the natal home range. Such dispersal is often sex-biased among vertebrates, and is generally expected to be male-biased in polygynous mammals. We used microsatellite markers scored on harvested wolverines (Gulo gulo) to test the prediction of male-biased dispersal in a population in the western Brooks Range, Alaska. Our analyses suggested a high rate of dispersal within the population, but provided no support for sex differences in dispersal tendencies across the sampled spatial scale. Previous studies have implied male-biased dispersal among wolverine populations on an interpopulation scale. We suggest 3, not exclusive, explanations to reconcile these differences: low power to detect sex biases in dispersal tendencies in this panmictic population; a scale-dependent component in dispersal tendencies, where males are overrepresented among interpopulation migrants; and lower reproductive success for dispersing females compared to more philopatric ones.
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