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Le blaireau européen (Meles meles L.). Synthèse des connaissances européennes. Partie 2 : groupes familiaux, dynamiques des populations et domaines vitaux

Abstract : This article presents a review of knowledge in Europe about badger family groups, population dynamics and home ranges. The reproductive cycle of female badgers is complex, involving delayed implantation of oocytes. The peak reproduction time is in winter (January, February), once the cubs arising from previous matings are born. Only roughly 30% of females breed every year (dominant sows in good health). The number of cubs per litter varies on average between 1 and 3 but mortality in the first year is very high, in the region of 50%. In Europe, the mean density of badgers is 1.8 ± 2.3 individuals (adults and juveniles) per km2 (4.7 if the high densities observed in Britain are taken into account). However, far lower densities of the order of 1 badger per 10 km2 are often recorded in Eastern Europe. The size of family groups is 3.8 ± 1.2 individuals (with 2.6 ± 1 adults) and is fairly invariable from one country to the next (4.6 ± 2.1 individuals, taking into account data for Britain). Home ranges vary considerably according to the gender and the season. It is larger for males and minimal for both sexes in winter, but larger for females in the summer. It too varies considerably depending on the population density per km2. Hence, the larges home ranges (> 500 ha) are found in the areas where the animal density is at its lowest (1 to 2 individuals per 10 km2), where the climate is adverse and in environments where food resources are scarce (Eastern Europe and Mediterranean environment). In more favorable areas with a temperate oceanic climate, the home range is far smaller (< 100 ha) with animal densities often in excess of 2 or 3 individuals per km2.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 8:06:15 AM
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François Lebourgeois. Le blaireau européen (Meles meles L.). Synthèse des connaissances européennes. Partie 2 : groupes familiaux, dynamiques des populations et domaines vitaux. Revue Forestière Française, Ecole nationale du génie rural, 2020, 72 (2), pp.99-118. ⟨hal-03035073⟩

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