Summertime activity patterns of common weasels Mustela nivalis vulgaris under differing prey abundances in grassland habitats

M J Brandt, X Lambin

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Weasels Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766 in Kielder Forest, UK showed a diurnal rhythm of activity in summer and we argue that this is the prevailing rhythm found in weasels under natural conditions. Climatic conditions influenced weasel activity with weasels decreasing activity under rainy conditions, but we found no influence of month or weasel weight. In certain habitat types levels of weasel activity increased with increasing field vole Microtus agrestis density. This result stands in contrast to results from studies carried out in the laboratory and may reflect a greater proportion of time spent in reproductive activity and intra-specific interactions in areas where vole density, and hence conspecific density is high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalActa Theriologica
Volume50
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Mustela nivalis
  • activity
  • prey density
  • predation risk
  • BIALOWIEZA-NATIONAL-PARK
  • LEAST WEASEL
  • MICROTUS-AGRESTIS
  • PINE MARTENS
  • FIELD VOLES
  • HOME-RANGE
  • ERMINEA L
  • POLAND
  • POPULATIONS
  • CARNIVORES

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