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Camera trap records of leucistic Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) in central Norway

Hofmeester, Tim and Thorsen, Neri H. and Linnell, John D. C. and Odden, John (2021). Camera trap records of leucistic Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) in central Norway. Ecology and Evolution. 11 , 12902-12907
[Research article]

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Abstract

Coat coloration plays an important role in communication, camouflage, and sexual selection in animals. Genetic mutations can lead to anomalous colorations such as melanism and leucism, where animals appear, respectively, darker or lighter than normal. Reporting abnormal coloration in wild animals is an important first step to understand the distribution, prevalence, and potential fitness consequences of these rare events. Here, we report several records of suspected leucism in the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) in a population in central Norway. Several camera traps recorded at least two leucistic individuals between 2017 and 2020. It took considerable effort, almost 400,000 camera trap nights over a period of 10 years all over Norway, to obtain a total of eleven records of leucistic badgers, indicating the rarity of this phenotype. It is unclear what has caused the presence of multiple leucistic badgers in a single population, but recent colonization and lack of predators might have played a role. Due to our observations, future studies can now be developed to study the underlying mechanisms and potential consequences of leucism in this badger population. The increasing use of networks of camera traps in wildlife research will provide new opportunities to record rare coloration in wild animals.

Authors/Creators:Hofmeester, Tim and Thorsen, Neri H. and Linnell, John D. C. and Odden, John
Title:Camera trap records of leucistic Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) in central Norway
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and Evolution
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Page range:12902-12907
Number of Pages:6
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:2045-7758
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
Keywords:albinism, anomalous color, Coat coloration, Mustelidae
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113573
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113573
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ece3.8052
Web of Science (WoS)000692933500001
ID Code:25939
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:25 Oct 2021 07:25
Metadata Last Modified:25 Oct 2021 07:31

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