Habitat selection by European badgers at multiple spatial scales in Portuguese Mediterranean ecosystems

Maria J. Santos, Paul Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Different habitat features can limit animal populations at different spatial scales. We examined habitat selection by Eurasian badger in a montado landscape in southern Portugal at four scales: core area (1 km2), home range (4 km2), social group territory (25 km2), and local population (100 km2). Our goals were to identify important habitats for conservation at each spatial scale (cell size) using candidate variables shown to be important by previous research. As expected, across all scales, badger occurrence was consistently and strongly correlated with dominance of cork oak and deciduous woodlands, and badgers seemed to avoid cultivated fields. Contrary to expectation, monocultures of conifers contributed positively to badger detection. The predictive ability of the models was poor at all scales, probably owing to our inability to include factors such as food, competitors, predators, undercover vegetation, and roads. Nonetheless, the models illustrate the importance to badgers of the montado, an ancient human-modified ecosystem that is threatened by current European Union agricultural conversion policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-843
Number of pages9
JournalWildlife Research
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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