Mostly Trapping

Reproduction success in animals including red foxe
Aug 18, 2020 06:30 ET
Original Title: Reproduction success in European badgers, red foxes and raccoon dogs in relation to sett cohabitation

Abstract
The setts of the European badger Meles meles can be cohabited during reproductive season by the red fox Vulpes vulpes and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. There is no information on the possible impact of both species on the size of badgers’ litter. The aim of the study was to show the influence of cohabitation of the same setts by badger, raccoon dog and fox on the litter size. The research was conducted in 2012–2014 and 2018 in the lowland forests of western Poland. We conducted the survey of setts by direct observations and analysis of photographic material from trap cameras during mid-April–July each year. We recorded 85 badger litters, 18 fox litters, and 15 raccoon dog litters. Average litter size was 1.71 (±0.90), 2.44 (±1.34) and 4.93 (±2.76) litter mates in badgers, foxes and raccoon dogs, respectively for all observed pairs. Badger litter size did not differ between setts used only by badgers including pairs with no cubs (1.66 ± 0.98) and cohabited with foxes (1.90 ± 0.32) or raccoon dogs (1.88 ± 0.81). However, foxes reared even more cubs in setts cohabited with badgers than when badger was absent (2.90 ± 1.37 vs. 1.88 ± 1.13 respectively). In the case of raccoon dogs, there were no differences in the mean number of their cubs in setts with badgers (5.25 ± 2.92) and without badgers (4.57 ± 2.76). The results indicate that the cohabitation of setts by badgers, foxes and raccoon dogs does not affect litter size negatively.

Figures