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Ventilation of badger setts

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Journal

Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde - Volume 68, Issue 5 , 2003, Pages 277-283

Authors

Timothy J. Roper and Jude A. J. Moore, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex

Abstract

Air currents were recorded at 44 separate underground locations in 12 badger Meles meles setts (five ‘main setts’ and seven ‘outliers’). Within-sett air movements were strongly positively correlated with, but were from one to three orders of magnitude slower than, corresponding external wind speeds. Within-sett air movements were significantly weaker in sheltered setts than in open setts, and significantly stronger in nest chambers than in tunnels. Main setts were better ventilated than outliers at sampling locations that were relatively deep within a sett (i. e., more than 1m from the nearest entrance). We conclude that wind-induced movement of air within badger setts contributes to ventilation of the interior of the sett, and that large setts are better ventilated than small ones.

Keywords

Meles meles; sett; burrow; ventilation; microclimate

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