Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Eurasian badgers, Meles meles (L., 1758), have an extensive geographic range throughout which their social organization varies. Their capacity for intraspecific variation can now best be understood by studying them in landscapes that differ from the lush, lowland farmland where their tendency to form large groups has been most intensively investigated. Badgers in cork oak (Quercus suber L.) woodland are thus a priority for study, as this Mediterranean landscape provides an extreme contrast to those studied elsewhere. In this habitat in Portugal, we found 0.36-0.48 badgers/km2, one of the lowest population densities recorded in Western Europe. Here, individuals used seasonally stable home ranges that averaged 4.46 km2 and that were occupied by 3-4 adults plus 3-4 cubs of the year. In this landscape, badgers selectively used cork oak woodland with understory and riparian vegetation. As predicted by the resource dispersion hypothesis, home-range size was positively correlated with food-patch dispersion. In southwestern Portugal, badgers depend upon an environmental mosaic such as olive groves and orchards and vegetable gardens for food and cork oak woodlands for shelter and protection.

Original publication




Journal article


Canadian Journal of Zoology

Publication Date





1493 - 1502