Ranging and activity patterns of the group-living ferret badger melogale moschata in central China
Zhang L., Wang Y., Zhou Y., Newman C., Kaneko Y., MacDonald DW., Jiang P., Ding P.
Patterns of space use can provide valuable insights into patterns of activity and social structure of poorly known mammal species. From April 2005 to November 2006 we radiotracked a low-density population of ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) in central China. Fourteen males and 8 females were caught. Nine of these individuals (6 males and 3 females) were followed; mean (± SD) 100 minimum convex polygon (MCP100) home range was 128.3 ± 131.9 ha, with no difference between sexes. For MCP100, neither nightly movement distances nor daily activity patterns revealed significant variation due to sex or season. Core areas (50 minimum convex polygon MCP50) were typically located centrally within overall home ranges. Two distinct groups of animals were evident in the radiotracked subpopulation, one consisting of 7 adults and the other composed of at least the 2 remaining collared badgers with field signs of additional badgers from the periphery of our study area. Within each group, home ranges of radiocollared individuals overlapped extensively (62.1 ± 26.5 for MCP100; 59.6 ± 23.0 for MCP95; 37.1 ± 24.5 for MCP50), and up to 4 adults per group shared the same burrow (sett). We consider the implications of our data for understanding of mustelid sociospatial behavior. © 2010 American Society of Mammalogists.