We investigated the effect of refuse feeding on body condition, reproductive success, and survival in banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Data were collected from 231 mongooses in 3 refuse-feeding groups and 311 mongooses in 8 non–refuse-feeding groups within Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Refuse-feeding adults were heavier and in better physical condition than non–refuse-feeding adults. Refuse-feeding females carried more fetuses than non–refuse-feeding females, but no difference was found in conception rate, number of emerging young, or number of independent young per female between refuse-feeding and non–refuse-feeding females. Male young in refuse-feeding groups had higher mortality than all other young. These findings show that for this social carnivore, access to garbage dumps had significant but contrasting effects on components of fitness but no overall effect on evolutionary fitness.
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