The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is a large rodent which pairs for life. We studied the space use of 17 female and 9 male radio-tracked porcupines in an evergreen coastal woodland (“macchia”, EW) and in an agricultural estate (AE), with special reference to the use of cultivations. Home range sizes of male porcupines (4.72–323.40) ranged around 114 ha (median) during the warm period (April–September) and 162 ha during the cold one (October–March). Home ranges of females (2.48–323.40) were c. 91 ha during the warm period and c. 143 ha during the cold one. Habitat composition and selection changed from the cold to the warm months, with porcupines being present in agricultural areas especially in the latter. Home range overlap between members of the same pair varied from 57% to 97% (median, 75%). Habitat selection was analyzed at the second (within study area) and at the third (within home range) order of selection. Within study areas, porcupines avoided cultivations and selected habitats with dense vegetation, providing cover and food. Within home ranges, in the warm period, porcupines selected agricultural areas in EW, where this habitat represented a minor portion of the study site. In that season, the Mediterranean “macchia” is a poor source of food, forcing porcupines to travel long distances to reach feeding sites. No significant difference of habitat selection within home ranges was detected between members of the same pair. Cultivations may play a key-role for porcupine survival, especially in poor habitats, as they provide abundant food resources in the warm period.
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|Titolo:||Patterns of spatial overlap in a monogamous large rodent, the crested porcupine|
|Citazione:||Mori, E., Lovari, S., Sforzi, A., Romeo, G., Pisani, C., Massolo, A., et al. (2014). Patterns of spatial overlap in a monogamous large rodent, the crested porcupine. BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES, 107, 112-118.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|