Evidence for food competition between mink (Mustela vison) and otter (Lutra lutra) on Scottish islands

D. Clode, D. W. Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food competition between American mink and otters was measured by comparing the diets of sympatric mink and otter populations with those of allopatric populations. Niche breadth was narrower for otters than mink. Niche breadth was wider for both mink and otters on islands where they co‐existed in comparison to that of the allopatric populations. Niche overlap was lower in sympatric populations on islands with mammalian prey, however, niche overlap was not reduced on small islands without mammalian prey. Obtained data suggest that mink and otter compete for food resources and, when alternative prey sources are available, mink become more generalist predators to avoid competition with otters. However, when alternative prey sources are not available, both species become more generalist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume237
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

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