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Developing a new detection method for small mammals, focusing on small mustelids and dormice.

At a glance


Habitat loss through settlement expansion and intensification of agriculture is becoming a major threat for many animal species. The populations of least weasels, ermine, polecats and pine martens in the Central Swiss Plateau are, according to uniform assessments by experts, understood to be in decline.

In addition to conservation measures, there is an urgent need for information to be collected on animal populations. Only in this way can negative trends be detected early and the effect of conservation measures be verified. Currently, the detection of small mammals is extremely time-consuming and only occasionally feasible.

The project aims to develop a method which has the following advantages over the commonly established practice of using tracking tunnels:

  • less time-consuming and lower overall costs

  • better data quality and greater knowledge yield

  • meets animal welfare requirements

  • enables reliable data collection and analysis through citizen sciences

Further information