We studied habitat use and selection, seasonal variation in the use of different habitats, and the factors possibly influencing their utilisation in six male and four female polecats Mustela putorius monitored in a fragmented area in Luxembourg. Deciduous forests appeared to be the most used habitat in summer, whereas grassland and pastures were more often used in winter and spring. Human settlements were frequently used in winter, likely because they provide both food and insulation. The influence of climatic conditions on habitat use was assessed; both rain and temperatures seemed to affect habitat use by polecats. Food habits also showed a seasonal variation with small rodents as the main food item in all seasons, but with amphibians becoming an important prey in spring and summer. Our results suggest that habitat use is influenced by trophic factors and climatic conditions, which confirms the opportunistic feeding behaviour of the polecat.
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