Evaluation of three indirect methods for surveying the distribution of the Least Weasel Mustela nivalis in a Mediterranean area

Pablo Garcia Diaz* (Corresponding Author), Isabel Mateos

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Least Weasel Mustela nivalis occurs in a large circumboreal range and seems to be declining in some localities. However, methods used for surveying the species vary highly between studies and data are scarce about the effectiveness of different techniques. Three indirect methods frequently used for carnivore inventories (hair-traps, track census and faeces sampling) were tested for surveying the distribution of this species in a Mediterranean area, central Spain. Hair-traps recorded the highest proportion of sites occupied (30.8%), whereas the other methods provided values <10%, with differences statistically significant among these techniques. The probability of detection also shows that hair-trapping works significantly better than sign surveys (0.56 with hair-trap opposed to 0.20 and 0.28 with signs). The hair-trap method can be a powerful and useful technique for surveying the Least Weasel but further research is needed to improve the method and increase probability of detection.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalSmall Carnivore Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • central Spain
  • faeces sampling
  • hair-trap
  • Mustelidae
  • track survey

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