From the preface:

The mustelids - otters, badgers, martens, weasels and their allies - make up one of the most diverse families of modern-day carnivores. However, unlike many other carnivore families, mustelids have rarely attracted the attention, interest or sympathy of the public. Human attitudes to mustelids are fraught with contradictions. Almost every school child knows of the highly photogenic otters and, in parts of western Europe, badger conservation and welfare evokes emotions that often seem to verge on the fanatical. In contrast, many other people view mustelids rather more negatively. Gamekeepers and hunters may see them as killers of ground-nesting gamebirds and their chicks, farmers often perceive them as pests (menaces to crops or livestock), and public health officials worry about plague, rabies and bovine tuberculosis. To add to the confusion, many mustelids are economically significant as furbearers, so adding all the controversy associated with the fur industry.
Despite these diverse views, mustelids are the most common predatory mammals in many northern-hemisphere ecosystems. Furthermore, like all other predatory species, they exist under increasing pressure in a world where human population and infrastructure permeate even the wildernesses. So, even in a society with a growing conservation ethic, mustelids are often hunted or persecuted, and their habitats are being altered, fragmented and eroded (as are those of their prey species). Survival in the modern, human-dominated world seems a challenging prospect.
The present volume arose out of informal discussions held around the mustelid session of the Euro-American Mammal Congress in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in July 1998. This gave workers from many countries and a broad range of disciplines the chance to come together, and to compare experiences and viewpoints. This was a relatively rare occasion as mustelid specialists tend align with one or other of the two relevant IUCN groups (Small Carnivores, Otters). As few technical or popular works deal with mustelids, it was felt that it was timely to take a wider view, and to examine themes relevant to the conservation of the group as a whole. The result is the present volume; a selection of invited thematic essays and research papers that aims to provide "snap shots" which explore some aspects of how these creatures live in human-dominated landscapes. We cannot, of course deal with every problem faced by every species, but I hope that the result does illustrate the major issues, and provides some insights as to how these magnificent animals can survive in the new millennium.

From the contents:


Authors addresses

1. Conservation of Scandinavian wolverines in ecological and political landscapes
Arild Landa John D.C. Linnell, Mats Lindén, Jon E. Swenson, Eivin Røskaft & Arne Moksnes

2. A comparison of the management of stoats and weasels in Great Britain and New Zealand
Robbie A. McDonald & Elaine C. Murphy

3. The conservation status of New World mustelids
Steven W. Buskirk

4. The impact of human activities on North American mustelids
Gilbert Proulx

5. Management and conservation of mustelids in Ontario and eastern Canada
Jean-François Robitaille

6. Black-footed ferrets: recovering an endangered species in an endangered habitat
Astrid Vargas, Pete Gober, Mike Lockhart & Paul Marinari

7. American river otters, Lontra canadensis, and humans: occurrence in a coastal urban habitat and reaction to increased levels of disturbance
Peter Giere & Don S. Eastman

8. Prehistoric mustelid exploitation: an overview
Ruth Charles

9. The recovery of the polecat, Mustela putorius, in Britain
Johnny D.S. Birks

10. Conservation implications of hybridisation between polecats, ferrets and European mink (Mustela spp.)
Angus Davison, Johnny D.S. Birks, Tiit Maran, David W. Macdonald, Vadim E. Sidorovich & Huw I. Griffiths

11. Otters recovering in man-made habitats in central Europe
Andreas Kranz & Ales Toman

12. The application of Geographic Information Systems and computer modelling to mustelid research
Mary C. Gough & Steve P. Rushton

13. A spatial analysis of mustelid distributions in northern Italy
Lorenzo Fornasari, Luciano Bani, Ivan Bonfanti, Elisabetta de Carli & Renato Massa

14. Monitoring the very rare: pine marten populations in England and Wales
John E. Messenger & Johnny D.S. Birks

15. Factors influencing otter, Lutra lutra, numbers and distribution on part of the Blackwater catchment (Ireland)
Paola Ottino & Paul Giller

16. Wildlife management and scientific research: a retrospective evaluation of two badger removal operations for the control of bovine tuberculosis
Frank A.M. Tuyttens, Lucy Barron, Lucy M. Rogers, Peter J. Mallinson & David W. Macdonald

17. Changes in badger, Meles meles, social organisation in response to increasing population density at Woodchester Park, south-west England
Lucy M. Rogers, Richard J. Delahay, Tim D. Hounsome & Chris L. Cheeseman

18. Mustelids in the Balkans - small carnivores in the European biodiversity hot-spot
Boris Kryztufek

19. The on-going decline of riparian mustelids (European mink, Mustela lutreola, polecat, Mustela putorius, and stoat, Mustelaerminea) in eastern Europe: a review of the results to date and an hypothesis.
Vadim E. Sidorovich

20. The marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna (Güldenstaedt, 1770), in FR Yugoslavia an elsewhere
Miroljub Milenkoviç, Milan Paunoviç, Helen E. Abel & Huw I. Griffiths

21. The status and conservation of Taiwan's mustelids
Liang-Kong Lin

Index to scientific names, Subject index



Mustelids in a modern world

Management and conservation aspects of small carnivore: human interactions

Edited by Huw I. Griffiths
2000, x and 342 pages with 76 figures and 35 tables.
ISBN 90-5782-066-8
€ 84