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One function of territorial defense may be to facilitate mate guarding by resident males. To assess the importance of mate guarding in territoriality, we examined the spatial pattern of intrusions by male Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) on the territories of other males and we compared use of territorial space by paired and bachelor males. Because intruding males tended to remain near territorial boundaries of other males more than expected by chance, we expected paired males to avoid areasdoi:10.7939/r3cj87x0t fatcat:rtdpk3yls5brtkqmv73utxdlri