ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION: The diet of the badger Meles meles in the Republic of Ireland

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The diet of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) in the Republic of Ireland was studied by examination of the stomach contents of 686 badgers, collected between March 2005 and September 2006. It was found that the relative importance of different food types, as indicated by their frequency of occurrence and ingested bulk in the diet, fluctuated seasonally. Tipulid larvae (Cl. Insecta, Ord. Tipulidae) dominated the diet in spring; Anura (Cl. Amphibia) and Aculeata (Ord. Hymenoptera) during the summer; and Noctuid larvae (Cl. Insecta, Ord. Noctuidae) in autumn and winter. Thus this type of foraging behaviour supports the contention that badgers are generalist foragers with seasonal food preferences. This feeding behaviour is more similar to that of badgers in Italy and Spain than to badgers in England.


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