Aberdeen Scotland with Live Traps

In 1970, Moors (1974) began research on common weasels in Scotland near Aberdeen, using some of the same live traps that had proved successful with weasels in Wytham Wood. He set them in the stone walls and fence lines around the pasture and arable fields of Miekle Tarty Farm. His weasels also lived mainly in the stone walls and surrounding long grass, and seldom ventured into the open fields. They could move rapidly from one end of their home ranges to the other, often covering more than 1 km in an hour. Counting only the area the weasels used, a 40-m wide corridor along each wall or fence line, Moors' male weasels used 9 to 16 ha in winter and about 10 to 25 ha in summer. The few females caught had smaller ranges, averaging only about 7 ha (Table 8.1).

Summer and winter home ranges were different because the weasels apparently reorganized their home ranges every spring. In both winters of Moors' study, the males' home ranges were stable, and each animal stayed within his own area. In spring of both years, however, this settled pattern was totally disrupted. By April, none of the known males remained on his winter range; many had disappeared, and the rest were wandering widely. The social system settled down again in late summer, when a new crop of young weasels appeared and contended for home ranges with the surviving adults.

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