Patterns of resting site use by pine marten Martes martes in Bialowieza National Park (Poland)

  • Zalewski A
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Use of resting sites by 14 radio-tracked pine martens Martes martes (Linnaeus, 1758) (6 males and 8 females) was studied in Bialowieza National Park, northeastern Poland. Males used, on average, 191 different resting sites throughout the year while females used 159 sites. The reuse index varied from 0.07 to 0.94 and it was highest for females with young in spring and lowest for both males and females in summer. In autumn-winter, reuse of resting sites by males decreased significantly (p = 0.006) in deep snow cover and it increased (p = 0.021) when marten's ate more ungulate carcasses. In spring, the reuse index for males was negatively correlated with the mean ambient temperature during the tracking period (p = 0.019) and did not depend on rodent abundance. In spring and autumn-winter, most individuals used resting sites which were randomly distributed in their home ranges. In summer, resting sites of males were clumped and were located near the edges of their home ranges, close to females' home ranges. The average distance between consecutively used resting sites was significantly higher for males (690 m) compared to females (419 m, p < 0.001). In spring and autumn-winter (but not in summer) the average distance between the male resting sites depended on their body mass. For males, temperature had significant influence on the pattern of resting site choice for the following day, while for females this relationship was not found. Individuals of the same sex and overlapping home ranges did not use the same resting sites in the same season, except for a young male and an old female that were found in one resting site at the same time from mid-June to mid-August.

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  • A Zalewski

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