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Distribution, habitat selection and facial morphology of setts of badgers (Meles meles Linnaeus, 1758) in the region of Erdospusztak (Eastern Hungary)

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Author(s): Lajos KOZAK | Miklos HELTAI

Journal: Analele Universitatii din Oradea, Fascicula Biologie
ISSN 1224-5119

Volume: TOM XIII;
Start page: 48;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: badger | sett density | habitat preference

ABSTRACT
The badger’s population density has shown a general increase in Hungary since the 1980s. The data show that the species has occurred in wide range in areas (like lowland areas) which are not known as traditional distribution area of badgers. The traditional habitats of badgers in Hungary are the hilly deciduous forests. But in the lowland rea around Debrecen we recognized increasing distribution and population density of the species. In this study we show the present status of the species in the semi-natural and planted forests and deforested areas around Debrecen and the habitat selection and the morphology of inhabited setts of the badgers living in these forests in a sample area.We recorded data on general distribution by questionnaires sent to hunting companies. The population density and habitat selection of the ample area was measured by recording of locality of setts of badgers. We used the method of line transect and analysis of habitat type through satellite pictures and GPS coordinates. To have data on morphology of setts we recorded the number of entrances, the exposure, overing, macro- and microrelief, occurrence of latrines.Our data show that the badgers are widely distributed in this area and heir population density reached the density of the species traditional habitats (2,44 setts/hectare). The habitat selection shows a small preference (Ivlev-index = 30%) to the forested areas. This small preference to the forests shows that the covering of the habitat is not the single crucial factor of their habitat selection. The level of preference to the several forest types shows that the badgers of the sample areas prefer (Ivlev-index = 58 %) the planted pine forests (Pinus sylvestris). This result is similar to other research results made in other part of Hungary but out of accordance to the results of researches made in England.
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