The ecology of the Irish stoat

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dc.contributor.advisor Mulcahy, Máire F. en Sleeman, David Patrick 2015-05-18T15:02:23Z 2015-05-18T15:02:23Z 1987 1987
dc.identifier.citation Sleeman, D. P. 1987. The ecology of the Irish stoat. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 220
dc.description.abstract The Irish stoat, Mustela erminea hibernica (Thomas and Barrett-Hamilton), has been regarded as an intermediate between the British stoat and the weasel. In this study Irish stoats, mainly from road casualties, were collected and studied. A small number were also live-trapped and radio-tracked. Thus information was gathered on the stoat’s ecology, in particular its form (size and coat colours), reproduction, food habits, parasites, habitat utilisation mortality and predation. The Irish stoats studied were clearly not intermediate in size between British stoats and weasels. They showed considerable size overlap with British stoats, and marked size variation within Ireland. It is argued that size of stoats is determined by food supply early in life. The ventral coat pattern of Irish stoats is apparently unique in the Palaearctic, being similar to that of some stoats found on the west coast of North America. It is argued that this is an example of parallel evolution resulting from adaptation to similar climatic conditions. The stoats were reproductively active in spring and summer. Food consisted mainly of rabbits, but rats, birds, shrews mice and voles were also consumed. Mites were the most numerous ectoparasites, followed by lice, ticks and fleas. Damage by the parasitic nematode Skrjabingylus nasicola was found more frequently in female stoat skulls. Stoats were frequently found in a variety of habitats, both open and wooded. Some of the radio-tracked stoats climbed trees. Dens used were often rat holes. Only one home range, that of a breeding female, was considered to have been accurately measured. It was 22 ha. in size. Mortality is known to have been caused by road accidents and domestic carnivores. It is argued that predation by raptorial birds is important to stoat populations. Results of this study are compared with information available from elsewhere. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 1987, David Patrick Sleeman en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Mustela erminea hibernica en
dc.subject Irish stoat en
dc.subject.lcsh Animal ecology en
dc.title The ecology of the Irish stoat en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Science) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en

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© 1987, David Patrick Sleeman Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 1987, David Patrick Sleeman
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