Analyses of the Food Habits of the Red Fox and the Stone Marten in Central Greece Using a Tree-Fitting Model

  • K Kitikidou
  • C Vlachos
  • D Bakaloudis
  • E Chatzinikos
  • M Papakosta
Keywords: Red fox, Vulpes vulpes, stone marten, Martes foina, food habits, Greece

Abstract

The dietary habits of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and stone marten (Martes foina) were studied in central Greece in period 2003 - 2005. The stomach contents of 219 red fox and 106 stone marten were characterised for their various prey items. The prey species were classified depending on their origin in six diet groups (mammals, birds, plants, arthropods, reptiles – amphibians and others). The samples were collected from regions where hunting is practised and in regions where hunting is not practised and classified across seasons and habitats (shrubs, agriculture, oaks). Plants, arthropods and mammals dominated the diet of the two carnivores in all seasons. The carnivores took birds and reptiles – amphibians at low levels, accounting for less than 11% of the food items for any season. Manmade items were more common in the red fox diet than for the other carnivore Using tree analysis, the only dependent variable included in the final model was “season”, indicating that “season” was the best predictor of “diet group”, while food habits were not significantly different with respect to “year”, “habitat” and “hunting”.

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eISSN: 0794-4721