Journal Article


James O'Keeffe
J. L. Quinn
Andrew W. Byrne



meles meles btb sex biased dispersal wildlife management 54 btb vaccination mark recapture culling 53 landscape scale dispersal kernel

Large-scale movements in European badgers: has the tail of the movement kernel been underestimated? (2014)

Abstract 1. Characterising patterns of animal movement is a major aim in populationecology, and yet doing so at an appropriate spatial-scale remains a majorchallenge. Estimating the frequency and distances of movements are of particularimportance when species are implicated in the transmission of zoonotic diseases.2. European badgers (Meles meles) are classically viewed as exhibiting limited dispersal, and yet their movements bring them into conflict with farmers due totheir potential to spread bovine tuberculosis in parts of their range. Considerableuncertainty surrounds the movement potential of badgers, and this may be relatedto the spatial-scale of previous empirical studies. We conducted a large-scalemark-recapture study (755km231 ; 2008-2012; 1,935 capture-events; 963 badgers) toinvestigate movement patterns in badgers, and undertook a comparative metaanalysis using published data from 15 European populations. 3. The dispersal movement (>1km) kernel followed an inverse power-law function,with a substantial 'tail' indicating the occurrence of rare long-distance dispersalattempts during the study period. The mean recorded distance from thisdistribution was 2.6km., the upper 95%ile was 7.3km and the longest recordedwas 22.1km. Dispersal frequency distributions were significantly differentbetween genders; males dispersed more frequently than females but femalesmade proportionally more long-distance dispersal attempts than males.4. We used a subsampling approach to demonstrate that the appropriate minimumspatial-scale to characterise badger movements in our study population was80km243 , substantially larger than many previous badger studies. Furthermore, themeta-analysis indicated a significant association between maximum movementdistance and study area size, while controlling for population density. Maximumlong-distance movements were often only recorded by chance beyond theboundaries of study areas.5. These findings suggest that the tail of the badger movement distribution iscurrently underestimated. The implications of this for understanding the spatialecology of badger populations and for the design of disease intervention strategies are potentially significant.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Veterinary Medicine Research Collection (superseded in 2015)
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine (superseded in 2015)
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Veterinary Medicine (superseded in 2015)

Full list of authors on original publication

James O'Keeffe, J. L. Quinn, Andrew W. Byrne

Experts in our system

James O'Keeffe
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 48
Andrew W. Byrne
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 16