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Long-term monitoring of activities of badgers (Meles meles L.) in a broadleaved forest in France

Abstract : European badgers’ behaviors have been studied over a 6-year period (2013–2018) using camera traps settled in a main sett (400 m2; 17 holes) in an oak forest, northeastern France. I analyzed group’s size, grooming, digging, bedding collecting, mating, and the emergence and return times. The burrow was inhabited by 2.8 (± 1.2) badgers. I observed between 2 and 4 new cubs each year in 5 out of 6 years, with a first emergence in mid-April. Grooming was frequent after emergence at dusk and lasted around 10 min (more frequent grooming in April after the births). Bedding collecting was a major activity in February and March during dry nights (mean duration of around 20 min) for years with births. Digging occurred only in winter 2015 and spring 2016, mainly at dusk (mean: 23 min, 2 to 90 min). Mating occurred mainly in January and February with short (< 10 min) and long (> 60 min) duration of copulation. Emergences occurred mainly between 19 and 21 h and returns between 5 and 7 h. For spring and summer, badgers emerged between 30 and 60 min before sunset but 2 h or more after sunset in autumn and winter. Returns occurred before sunrise in the middle of the night (1 h in spring and summer and 2 h or more in autumn and winter). In autumn and winter, warm nights hastened emergences time (i.e., maximum temperature higher than 10 °C) and frost nights hastened returns (i.e., minimum temperature below 0 °C).
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Contributor : François Lebourgeois Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 9:19:14 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 16, 2021 - 11:30:02 AM
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François Lebourgeois. Long-term monitoring of activities of badgers (Meles meles L.) in a broadleaved forest in France. European Journal of Wildlife Research, Springer Verlag, 2021, 67 (1), ⟨10.1007/s10344-020-01447-1⟩. ⟨hal-03102314⟩



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