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Wild ferrets are spreading throughout the island of La Palma
Date:4/13/2010

n these areas rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are very abundant", the researcher explains.

Between January and April 2006, scientists carried out a preliminary control of wild ferrets due to the damage they were causing on some farms. They set 36 live capture traps in Las Tricias, to the south-east of La Palma. Between August and November that year, they set traps in other towns and, in total, captured 10 specimens.

Negative effects on the fauna

Although the scientists indicate that "the effect of wild ferrets on the native fauna of the island is currently unknown", it is likely that it could "negatively" affect various species of birds that breed on the ground. This is the case with the laurel pigeon (Columba junoniae) and the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). Ferrets could also hunt subspecies of endemic lizards Gallotia galloti palmae. "There is need for greater awareness of this problem in the public authorities, as well as tightening the law, controlling and penalizing the use of ferrets without a muzzle, in addition to launching information campaigns, especially amongst hunters, to reduce the risk on native species", Medina confirms.


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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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