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2014 | 59 | 2 |
Tytuł artykułu

Socio-spatial ecology of pine marten (Martes martes) in conifer forests, Ireland

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Understanding the social organisation and spacing patterns of wildlife populations is an important aspect of conservation management and applied science. The present study investigated the spatial ecology of pine marten (Martes martes) inhabiting conifer forests in Ireland, the largest habitat resource available for the species. It represented the first study of pine marten spacing patterns in Irish conifer forests. Pine marten (n = 7; five males and two females) were live-trapped and radio-tracked for between 4 and 10 months from March 2008 to March 2009. Mean annual home-range estimates (95 % fixed kernel) for males (150.7 ha) were generally larger than those of females (90.2 ha). There was considerable inter-seasonal overlap in home ranges (approx 85 %) with less inter-sexual (12.0 %) or intra-sexual (11.8 %) overlap, although the sample size of individuals for comparison was small. Pine marten home ranges were stable from season to season. Core ranges varied in size from 10.6 to 104.1 ha, and as a mean percentage of home-range area were 22.9 and 42.5 % for males and females, respectively. In terms of forest management, potential under occupancy of available space by pine marten and vulnerability of very small core ranges to clear felling practices needs further research to determine any impacts on individuals and populations.
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