Diet composition and habitat use of sympatric polecat and American mink in western France

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Food habits of European polecat Mustela putorius Linnaeus, 1758 and of American mink Mustela vison Schreber, 1777 are compared by analysis of scats collected from two radiotracked animals in a marsh habitat over a 5 month period. Both predators take a wide range of prey but polecat consumes more rodents and feeds upon am­ phibians in spring, whereas mink mainly preys on fish and birds. Dietary overlap results from the common utilization of rodent prey. Both predators reduce competition by intensive exploitation of different resources and by segregation in the space use.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mustela putorius
  • Mustela vison
  • food niche overlap
  • telemetry

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  • Thierry Lode

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