Patterns of space use can provide valuable insights into patterns of activity and social structure of poorly known mammal species. From April 2005 to November 2006 we radiotracked a low-density population of ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) in central China. Fourteen males and 8 females were caught. Nine of these individuals (6 males and 3 females) were followed; mean (± SD) 100% minimum convex polygon (MCP100) home range was 128.3 ± 131.9 ha, with no difference between sexes. For MCP100, neither nightly movement distances nor daily activity patterns revealed significant variation due to sex or season. Core areas (50% minimum convex polygon [MCP50]) were typically located centrally within overall home ranges. Two distinct groups of animals were evident in the radiotracked subpopulation, one consisting of 7 adults and the other composed of at least the 2 remaining collared badgers with field signs of additional badgers from the periphery of our study area. Within each group, home ranges of radiocollared individuals overlapped extensively (62.1% ± 26.5% for MCP100; 59.6% ± 23.0% for MCP95; 37.1% ± 24.5% for MCP50), and up to 4 adults per group shared the same burrow (sett). We consider the implications of our data for understanding of mustelid sociospatial behavior.
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Vol. 91 • No. 1