As it usually happens, my initial plans and project design had to be bent and amended to live up to the reality. Long winter delayed and affected everything. From plant growth to herbivore and predator activity. And of course my project.
For the first time since I left my family home in Poland, I’ve been able to observe how it’s all changing. First come plants. They don’t need much to recover from the dormancy. Herbivores are next in line, followed by those that prey on them.
Stoats and weasels are very small predators. This makes them vulnerable to low temperatures and extended periods of food shortage. They’re often decimated by winters like the one we had this year.
Fortunately for my project, they breed at least as fast as their small size would suggest. They prey on small rodents which reproduce even faster, providing the mustelids with enough food to recreate their population. At least that’s what I’m hoping for at the moment.
Due to the initial failure of the use of tunnels I switched to scat collection. Yes. I walk through the forest and collect weasel pooh. This has worked much better so far. But now, that I’ve had signals the situation has changed… I even have a dead male weasel in my freezer. A friend accidentally hit it with his car.
It’s time to finish what I’ve started. Tomorrow, I’m setting the tunnels again. We’ll see. what happens this time, and if I was right about the change that nature has supposedly undergone.