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Birds in the diet of the badger

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Journal

Mammal Review, Volume 35,Number 2, April 2005, pp. 199-209(11) - Blackwell Publishing

Authors

HOUNSOME, TIM; DELAHAY, RICHARD

Abstract

  1. We reviewed 110 published studies of badger diet or badger predation of birds. The studies covered most of the Eurasian badger's range, from Ireland east to Japan and from Sweden south to southern Spain.

  2. Bird remains were recorded in 2038 cases out of a total 36699 samples of badger faeces and stomachs. The overall percentage frequency of occurrence of bird remains in badger faeces and stomachs was 5.55% for all studies combined, and 7.97% for UK studies. The remains of 45 bird species from 11 orders were recorded.

  3. The percentage frequency of occurrence of birds in badger diet increased significantly with latitude. There was no significant relationship between the occurrence of birds in badger diet and season.

  4. While the prevalence of birds in the diet of badgers is generally low, the studies reviewed here provide insufficient evidence to assess whether badger predation has an impact on bird populations at a national scale, and experimental approaches to this problem are required.

Keywords

diet variation; game; impact; predation; predator–prey; wildlife conflict; wildlife management

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