Social structure of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles): genetic evidence
EVANS PGH., MACDONALD DW., CHEESEMAN CL.
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