Forgotten, but not gone - yet

  • Illustration of carnivores

    Martin Ring
  Few people know that the American marten, a forest-dwelling weasel the size of a house cat, hunts small mammals in cavities under snow, and "is so exquisitely tuned to its surroundings that it can depress its body temperature ... minimizing energy expenditures in the stressful winter months." Or that the wolverine, the largest of the weasels, weighing 30 pounds on average and legendary for its ferocity, is more of a scavenger than a hunter. A 10-page pamphlet produced by the Predator Project and the Biodiversity Legal Foundation introduces these and other little-known predators that are often overlooked with so much public attention focused on restoring wolves and grizzly bears. "These species need our help if they, like America's last wildlands, are to live on in more than just our memories," says the pamphlet, The Wild Bunch: America's forest carnivores may be headed for the final showdown. It suggests that we might halt the decline of these animals by protecting existing roadless areas, changing clear-cutting and fire-suppression practices, ending trapping, and developing conservation strategies. For a copy of The Wild Bunch, or to help with pamphlet distribution, write the Predator Project, P.O. Box 6733, Bozeman, MT 59771, 406/587-3389, (e-mail: [email protected]).

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