The effects of landscape attributes on the use of small wildlife underpasses by weasel (Mustela nivalis) and stoat (Mustela erminea)

  • Published source details van Vuurde M.R. & van der Grift E.A. (2005) The effects of landscape attributes on the use of small wildlife underpasses by weasel (Mustela nivalis) and stoat (Mustela erminea). Lutra, 48, 91-108.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under railways

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under railways

    A study in 2003 at 14 underpasses beneath a railway through suburban and rural habitat in the Netherlands (van Vuurde & van der Grift 2005) found that several species of small- and medium-sized mammals used underpasses to cross the railway. Tracks identified in the monitored underpasses were from western hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (recorded at two of the 14 underpasses), rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus (two underpasses), brown rat Rattus norvegicus (4–5 underpasses), western polecat Mustela putorius (0–1 underpasses), red fox Vulpes vulpes (one underpass), mice, voles and shrews (13 underpasses), weasel Mustela nivalis and stoat Mustela erminea (11 underpasses) and pine Martes martes and stone marten Martes foina (one underpass). Ranges in the number of underpasses used reflect uncertainties in track identification. Fourteen underpasses (0.6 m wide, 0.3 m high and 19–32 m long), were installed beneath a 12-km stretch of railway in 1998–2003. Eleven underpasses were topped with grates (2–9 m long) between entrances and railway tracks. Mammal use was monitored between August and October 2003, using ink track-plates (0.6 × 2.4 m). Track-plates were checked on average at eight-day intervals.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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