Irish soil and land-use classifications as predictors of badgers and setts
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume 51, Issues 3-4
, 11 October 2001, Pages 137-148
This study investigated possible associations between soil types, land
use and badger numbers in an area of the Irish Midlands where badger removal
had been conducted during 1989–1994. For this purpose, the area was divided
into approximately 2500 geo-referenced square grids of 0.5°km per side. For
the outcomes (setts per grid, badgers per grid and tuberculous badgers per
grid), Poisson models of land use, of soil type, and a combination of these
two were developed. Influential grids were removed and the models adjusted
for over-dispersion in the badger outcomes. Mineral-based soils, dry and
very-dry peat soils supported increased numbers of setts and badgers.
High-quality pasture was the major land use (pastures often are found on
mineral-based soils) and supported increased numbers of setts, badgers, and
tuberculous badgers. "Natural" areas also supported more setts and
broad-leaf forested areas were associated with increased tuberculous badger
numbers. Discontinuous urban areas tended to decrease sett numbers per grid.
Hedgerow length was not an important predictor given the information on soil
type and land use.
Spatial correlations existed for badger setts in 1°km grids, for badger
numbers in 1.5°km grids, and for tuberculous badgers in 2°km grids. The
latter two grids have approximately the same area as the territory size used
by a social group of badgers. There were no spatial correlations at the
smallest (0.5km) grid size.
Soil; Land use; Badger; Sett; Association;