The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats: Ecology, Behavior, and Management

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Oxford University Press, Oct 12, 2006 - Science - 464 pages
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Field naturalists have observed the activities of weasels for centuries. Their descriptions were often accurate but sometimes misinterpreted the animals' behaviors and underlying explanations for those behaviors. "Organized natural history" became one of the roots of the science of ecology in the 1920s and by the 1960s scientists had begun to study the biology of weasels with all the critical, objective advantages of modern theory and equipment. Until the first edition of this book appeared in 1989 no one had attempted to explain these results to non-specialist naturalists. Now thoroughly revised, this book will continue to be the main one-stop reference for professionals. But both kinds of knowledge are brought together here-- observations for the traditional naturalist and rigorous measurements and interpretations for modern scientists, integrated into a single, readable account. This new edition provides a comprehensive summary of the extensive advances over the last 15 years in our knowledge of these fascinating animals. A new U.S.-based co-author reshapes the content to be more U.S.-centric. Stories about North America trappers and backwoodsmen interacting with weasels replace some (not all) of the previous stories about English gamekeepers. These changes permeate the book, so readers familiar with the first edition will recognize some material, but will find a lot that is new. Much less reliable European information quoted in the first edition was there at the time when no better information was available. Now a new NZ chapter focuses on predation problems of the species introduced to that country. This edition, much more than a simple update, is now truly an international treatment and a more valuable resource.
 

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Contents

1 Weaselly Distinguished Stoatally Different
3
2 HairTrigger Mouse Traps with Teeth
33
3 Molt and Winter Whitening
51
4 Body Size
71
5 Food
97
6 Hunting Behavior
113
7 The Impact of Predation by Weasels on Populations of Natural Prey
137
8 Adjustable Living Spaces
161
Density and Breeding Success
231
Survival and Mortality
267
12 Human Attitudes to Weasels in Their Native Environments
307
13 Stoats as Introduced Pests in New Zealand
329
Sexual Dimorphism Delayed Implantation and Coexistence among Weasel Species
351
Appendix
379
References
383
Index
423

9 Reproduction
199

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Page 5 - A glance at the physiognomy of the weasels would suffice to betray their character. The teeth are almost of the highest known raptorial character; the jaws are worked by enormous masses of muscles covering all the side of the skull.
Page 5 - ... glitter with an angry green light. There is something peculiar, moreover, in the way that this fierce face surmounts a body extraordinarily wiry, lithe, and muscular. It ends a remarkably long and slender neck in such way that it may be held at right angle with the axis of the latter.
Page 402 - King, CM; McMillan, CD 1982: Population structure and dispersal of peak-year cohorts of stoats (Mustela erminea) in two New Zealand forests, with especial reference to control. New Zealand journal of ecology 5: 59-66.
Page 396 - Cranial helminth parasites in species of Mustelidae. II. Regional frequencies of damage in preserved crania from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Greenland and the northeast of Canada compared with the helminth invasion in fresh mustelid skulls from Sweden.
Page 5 - Weasels would suffice to betray their character. The teeth are almost of the highest known raptorial character; the jaws are worked by enormous masses of muscles covering all the side of the skull. The forehead is low, and the nose is sharp; the eyes are small, penetrating, cunning; and glitter with an angry green light.
Page 399 - Hay, R., Flux, I., Bradfield, P., Speed, H., and Jansen, P. 1999. Successful recovery of North Island kokako Callaeas cinerea wilsoni populations, by adaptive management.
Page 384 - Moller, H. (1997a). Daily activity of stoats (Mustela erminea), feral ferrets (Mustela furo) and feral house cats (Felis catus) in coastal grassland, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 21, 89-95.
Page 384 - Ecological studies on the vertebrate fauna of a 500-acre farm in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Ecol.

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