Feeding habits of three sympatric mammals in a riparian habitat in NE Spain: the American mink, the spotted genet, and the Eurasian otter

Yolanda Melero (Corresponding Author), Santiago Palazón , Laura Bonesi, Joaquim Gosàlbez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diet composition, niche measures, and prey consumption of three sympatric species of carnivores, one non-native and introduced, the American minkNeovison vison Schreber, 1777, and two native, the spotted genetGenetta genetta Linnaeus, 1758 and the Eurasian otterLutra lutra Linnaeus, 1758, were studied in a Spanish Mediterranean area. The study was based on the analysis of prey remains in the faeces of the predators. Faeces of mink (n = 444), genet (n = 310), and otter (n = 108) were collected all year round for four years along the Llobregat (21 km) and Gavarresa rivers (12 km). Simultaneously, and in the same area, prey species density and weight were estimated by means of trapping. The diet of mink and genet was dominated by the American crayfishProcambarus clarkii, while the otter fed almost exclusively on fish. Compared to the mink, the genet seemed to specialise more on small mammals while the mink specialised more on aquatic birds, especially in autumn-winter. Niche overlap was higher between mink and genet than between either of them and the otter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263–273
Number of pages11
JournalActa Theriologica
Volume53
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • diet
  • American crayfish
  • niche width
  • niche overlap
  • competition

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