Acta Theriologica

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 283–288

Food digestibility of an Eurasian badgerMeles meles with special reference to the Mediterranean region

  • Luís M. Rosalino
  • Filipa Loureiro
  • David W. Macdonald
  • Margarida Santos-Reis
Fragemeta Theriologica

DOI: 10.1007/BF03194168

Cite this article as:
Rosalino, L.M., Loureiro, F., Macdonald, D.W. et al. Acta Theriol (2003) 48: 283. doi:10.1007/BF03194168

Abstract

Feeding trials were carried out with a captive adult badgerMeles meles (Linnaeus, 1758) to establish relationships (digestibility coefficients) between the biomass of freshly consumed food and the dry undigested remnants recovered from scats (bone, teeth, hair, feathers, exoskeleton parts, seeds, etc). The foods studied were those revealed by our research to be the principal components of badger diet in a Mediterranean environment, and the values of the digestibility coefficients (DC) were: 24.74 for rabbitsOryctolagus cuniculus, 21.72 for rodents, 19.81 for pigeonsColumba sp., 99.50 for amphibians, 32.35 for arthropods imago, 44.39 for insect larvae, 18.45 for earthwormsLumbricus rubellus, 2.75 for acornsQuercus sp., 9.19 for arbutusArbutus unedo, 12.25 for blackberriesRubus ulmifolius, 46.12 for figsFicus carica, 34.87 for loquatsEriobotrya japonica, 10.94 for olivesOlea europaea, and 12.02 for pearsPyrus bourgaeana. The variability of DC values was measured, and attributed to the heterogeneity of constituents of the selected food types. There was no statistically significant correlation between the average weight of consumed food and the digestibility coefficients, confirming the expectation that such coefficients must be derived empirically for each food type.

Key words

Meles meles digestibility coefficients diet Mediterranean environments 

Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís M. Rosalino
    • 1
  • Filipa Loureiro
    • 1
  • David W. Macdonald
    • 2
  • Margarida Santos-Reis
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal da Faculdade de Cincias da Universidade de LisboaCentro de Biologia AmbientalLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of ZoologyOxford UniversityUK