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Status of carnivores in Biscay (N lberian peninsula)

Aihartza, J. R., Zuberogoitia, l.


The first study on the carnivore community of Biscay was published in 1985. The present study, made twelve years later, was carried out to assess the present situation of these mammals. In this work, data collected from 1990 to 1996 by trapping, sighting, and surveying road and other kills, as well as faeces and tracks are reported. Records of 12 species were obtained, of which American mink Mustela vison (Schreber, 1777) is cited for the first time, and the wolf reappears as a non-occasional species. The main trends observed during the last twelve years seem to be related to changes in land use and management of natural resources. The situation has turned favourable for the most opportunistic species, which have become very abundant in some areas, while populations of the most specialist or relictic species show a more restricted distribution. At the same time, the expansion of wolf and European mink, with the appearance of American mink for the first time, reflect a dynamic but very unstable scene.

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MZ volume 22.1 (1999) mz