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Space use and activity in a mediterranean population of badgers Meles meles

AuthorsRodríguez, Alejandro ; Martín Franquelo, Rosalía; Delibes, M.
Issue Date1996
PublisherPolish Academy of Sciences
CitationActa Theriologica 41: 59- 72 (1996)
AbstractActivity, spatial ecology, and pattern of sett use of a mediterranean population of badgers Meles meles Linnaeus, 1758 are described. Data come from Doñana National Park (SW Spain) where a 1-year radio-tracking study and a 9-year capture-recapture study were carried out. Badger home ranges were spatially structured, territories having an average size that is the largest reported in the literature. There was a correlation between territory size and ecological variables reflecting food patch dispersion. It is suggested that badgers might set territory limits to include enough patches of rabbit burrows in the critical summer period of low rabbit abundance. Badgers were not strictly nocturnal, and showed decreased activity levels in winter. Activity levels were higher in badgers living in dry habitats, and in all badgers during the dry season. Both photoperiod and rabbit availability were suggested as factors influencing activity parameters like activity length or resting intervals during activity periods. Differences in the pattern of use of the main and secondary setts were found between reproductive females and other individuals.
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