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Process of dispersal in nearby territories

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Journal

Mammal Review, Volume 33, Numbers 3-4, September 2003, pp. 314-318(5) - Blackwell Publishing

Authors

ROPER T.J.; OSTLER J.R.; CONRADT L.

Abstract

  1. Radio-telemetry was used to track dispersal in five adult Eurasian badgers Meles meles (four males and one female) from three social groups.

  2. All animals moved to a territory immediately neighbouring their home territory. Three of the males dispersed simultaneously as a ‘coalition’; the other two individuals dispersed solitarily.

  3. The process of dispersal took from 2 to 9 months. Dispersing animals first made nocturnal forays into the new territory but returned to their own territory to sleep. They then began to sleep progressively more often in setts in the new territory, and less often in their original territory. During this period, dispersers foraged in both the old and the new territory, before eventually settling into a home range centred exclusively on the new territory.

  4. We conclude that dispersal can be a lengthy and complex process, even when the distance involved is small.

Keywords

exploration; ranging behaviour; sett use

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