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

Maria J. Santos, Paul Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

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 - 2008

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badgers
habitat preferences
habitat selection
ecosystems
ecosystem
habitat
monoculture
home range
coniferous tree
woodland
European Union
predator
road
Meles meles
Quercus suber
food
vegetation
habitat conservation
Portugal
conifers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Habitat selection by European badgers at multiple spatial scales in Portuguese Mediterranean ecosystems. / Santos, Maria J.; Beier, Paul.

In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 35, No. 8, 2008, p. 835-843.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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