Feeding habits of the common genet (Genetta genetta) in the area of Djurdjura, north of Algeria

Mansour Amroun 1 , Messaoud Bensidhoum 1 , Pierre Delattre, and Philippe Gaubert 3
  • 1 Université de Tizi-Ouzou, Faculté des Sciences Biologiques et Agronomiques, 15000 Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria
  • 2 Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez Cedex, France
  • 3 Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR BOREA IRD 207, 43 rue Cuvier, CP 26, 75005 Paris, France
  • 4 This article is dedicated to Pierre Delattre, who passed away before this study was published.
Mansour Amroun, Messaoud Bensidhoum, Pierre Delattre and Philippe Gaubert

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to characterize the diet of the common genet Genetta genetta in the Djurdjura Mts., north of Algeria. Through a year-round survey, we collected 360 feces and identified 1970 items. Arthropods (33%) and mammals (25%) were dominant, followed by wild birds and plants. The wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus (65% within mammals) and Coleoptera (66% within arthropods) were dominant throughout the seasons. We observed striking seasonal variations in the common genet’s diet, with arthropods peaking in summer, mammals and wild birds dominating in winter, and energetic plants more consumed in autumn. Our study underlined the opportunistic feeding habits of the common genet with high values of trophic indices throughout the seasons, and the species’ capacity to adjust its food spectrum on seasonal resource availability. Our results confirmed that the common genet has an intermediate diet between generalist and specialist, feeding on a wide spectrum of items but relying on the wood mouse as the main energetic source. The diet of the species in Djurdjura Mts. included a great proportion of arthropods, thus, reflecting the “Mediterraneity” of the feeding spectrum of the common genet in northern Algeria.

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