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Fruit consumption by carnivores in Mediterranean Europe

Authors

  • LUÍS M. ROSALINO,

    1. Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, Ed. C2, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • MARGARIDA SANTOS-REIS

    1. Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, Ed. C2, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Editor: RD/RM

L. M. Rosalino. E-mail: lmrosalino@fc.ul.pt

ABSTRACT

  • 1We reviewed patterns of fruit consumption amongst 10 species of mesocarnivores: red fox Vulpes vulpes, weasel Mustela nivalis, stoat Mustela erminea, polecat Mustela putorius, stone marten Martes foina, pine marten Martes martes, Eurasian badger Meles meles, common genet Genetta genetta, Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon and wildcat Felis silvestris in Mediterranean Europe.
  • 2The 65 reviewed studies recorded 79 different fruits eaten by carnivores, 58 of which were identified to species. Most records (63%) were of fleshy fruits with high pulp content. The frequency of occurrence of fruit items varied widely amongst species and regions. Four of the carnivore species (red fox, stone marten, badger and common genet) included more than 30 fruit species in their diet.
  • 3A longitudinal pattern was detected in the consumption of fruit in the Mediterranean region, with the frequency of occurrence of fruit consumption increasing towards the east.

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