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Activity of badgers in Central Poland

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Journal

Mammalian Biology, Volume 70,Number 1, 1 January 2005, pp. 1-11(11) - Urban & Fischer

Authors

J Goszczynski;S Juszko;A Pacia;J Skoczynska

Abstract

A four-year study of badger activity was carried out in central Poland (5448'N, 1953'E) with the aid of radio tracking, winter tracking, sett inspections and direct observation of the animals. The daily activity of badgers varied considerably in the course of a year. In winter, the time spent away from the sett and the daily distance covered were both the shortest. In spring, the daily distances increased and the badgers were active on the ground for 3.54.5 hours. In summer and autumn, the animals were active for more than 6 hours. The longest spell away from the sett was 9 hours, while the farthest distance moved in a day was 8.1 km. Activity generally peaked once, this maximum occurring between 22:00 and 02:00 h. No cases of surface activity between 05:00 and 17:00 were recorded. Winter tracking indicated that during the first half of this season the animals restricted their activity to the immediate vicinity of their setts. Later in the season, the badgers began to undertake longer journeys, scent-mark their home ranges and inspect the setts in them with greater frequency. In winter the time spent by badgers in their setts was closely dependent on the outside temperature. The animals came up to the surface with varying frequency in the different seasons. In winter the badgers left their setts on average once in 48 hours, while the longest period of uninterrupted inactivity recorded during our study was 2 weeks. Badger activity was governed by weather factors, their life cycle and the availability of food during the year.

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