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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Badgers are still game animals in Poland

In a recent article by Myslajek et al. 2012, the authors analyzed, among other things, also the influence of hunting and wolf predation on the local badger population. Hunting was much more important. Unfortunately, despite its low density, badgers are still game animals in Poland with two-months long hunting season, which may be extended to the entire year within hunting grounds where Capercaille or/and Black Grouse occure.

Robert W. Mysłajek

Abstract of the paper:
We studied the socio-spatial ecology of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) along the altitudinal gradient (250-1257 m a.s.l.) of the Western Carpathians (Southern Poland), 2004-2009. Family groups were small (mean 2.3 individuals) and home-ranges large (mean 5.42 km2, MCP 100%), which gave a low population density (2.2 individuals/10 km2). Badgers foraged mainly in the foothills, irrespective of the altitude at which their sett was located. They mostly searched for food in meadows, pastures and arable fields (34.4% of telemetry locations), or among shrubs (33.9%). Badgers were killed by hunters (0.37 individuals/10 km2 annually), and by wolves (0.07 individuals/10 km2). The badger population density was influenced mostly by the abundance of earthworms and hunting pressure, while the size and shape of their territories was determined by the distribution of foraging grounds.

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