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Studies of territorial, highly stable groups of wild Eurasian badger, Meles meles, revealed that more than one adult of each sex may breed within a group, and that extra‐territorial movements may occur within clusters of territories. Although there is some genetic structuring within a local population and a deficiency of heterozygotes, due probably to minimal juvenile dispersal, heterogeneity of gene frequencies is reduced by: (a) adults transferring between adjacent groups, and (b) matings between males of one group and females of another. Marked changes in gene frequencies between generations indicate that a minority of males have a strong influence on the genotypes of the offspring, being either polygynous or promiscuous. Within one generation, the young of a given group may be sired by two or more males, and these males may not necessarily be members of that group. Copyright © 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Zoology

Publication Date





587 - 595