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Ferrets--英国论文代写范文精选

2015-09-14 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

51due英国论文代写网精选代写范文:“Ferrets ” 本论文主要叙述了雪貂的一些特征和习性。雪貂是小型食肉动物,除了作为新西兰的野生种群的角色,雪貂还是亚洲地区得家养宠物。雪貂从欧洲在1880年雪貂被引入新西兰,有效控制野兔的过度繁衍。
Ferrets are small predators and are members of the mustelid family, along with stoats, weasels, badgers, mink and otters.

Stoats, weasels and ferrets, the only mustelids present in New Zealand, pose a serious threat to our threatened wildlife.
In addition to New Zealand's wild populations, ferrets are kept as domestic pets and farmed for export markets in Asia.
History of ferrets in New Zealand
Ferrets were introduced to New Zealand from Europe in the 1880s, along with stoats and weasels, to control rabbits that were breeding out of control. By 1900, ferrets were well established in the wild and definitely played a role in the decline of native birds like the kiwi, weka and blue duck, and the extinction of kakapo on the mainland. Kakapo are now only found on mustelid-free islands.
In the 1980s, at least 17 ferret farms were established in Northland. When these closed down due to a downturn in the market, many ferrets escaped or were set free, contributing to the expansion of ferrets northwards into some of New Zealand's remaining prime kiwi habitat.
Physical description
The ferret is the largest mustelid in New Zealand, with a body length of 320 mm-460 mm and a tail of 110-180 mm.
Males are noticeably larger than females, averaging 1.1-1.3 kg (max 1.85 kg) with females ranging from 400-1,100 grams. Ferrets are considerably larger and of ‘stockier’ build than stoats.
The colour is variable, with a typical white or cream undercoat and a variable quantity of longer dark guard hairs, giving some animals a black looking appearance while others appear almost white.
The tail is uniformly dark. A variable dark mask occurs across the eyes and above the nose.
Prey
Ferret, showing upper body and head.
Ferret, showing upper body and head
The main food of ferrets is rabbits and hares. Densities of ferrets seem to be strongly correlated with density of rabbits. A sudden reduction in rabbit numbers, as with the introduction of RCD/RHD but also with natural fluctuations, means that hungry ferrets attack other animals like threatened native species.
Rodents, possums and ground-dwelling or nesting birds are all frequently taken. Lizards, eels, frogs, insects, eggs, hedgehogs and carrion are minor prey items.
Behaviour
They are mainly nocturnal, with a home range that is variable according to food supply, from 3-70 ha. A ferret will usually exclude others of the same sex from its central home range. Scent glands are used extensively to leave territorial scent markers.
Mating of ferrets usually occurs in September. The litter, usually of 4-8 (up to 12), is born in October or November, with young independent by late January. Females can have a second litter after this if food is abundant.
There is high mortality in the first year, and an average lifespan in the wild may be 4-5 years.
Ferrets are generally absent or in low numbers in areas of high rainfall, where there are few rabbits, or deep within forested areas.
Ferrets will often revisit the site of a kill.
Impact on native species
While ferrets have been in New Zealand for over a century, they are still having huge impacts on vulnerable native species. No equilibrium with the environment has been reached - native species are still declining because of ferrets.
In 1994, three radio-tagged adult kiwi and five untagged kiwi in a Landcare Research study disappeared from Lake Waikaremoana within a month - and it's almost certain all eight were killed by ferrets. In the 1998-99 breeding season, Lake Waikaremoana kiwi came under ferret pressure again, and in Northland a male ferret killed at least five adult kiwi over a few months until it was trapped and killed.
It was originally thought that ferrets were limited to open country like pasture, scrubland and coastal areas, and in the fringes of nearby forests; however, recent research has found ferrets within some Northland forests placing added pressure on already threatened kiwi populations. The decline of kiwi in Northland has been greatest in the south, which is the area where ferrets are most prevalent.
One of the biggest challenges is to maintain ferret-free islands and areas like Stewart Island and Great Barrier Island and reserves that are home to threatened species. The arrival of ferrets in places like these would be lethal for flightless and ground-dwelling birds, and it is illegal to take pet ferrets to such areas.
Black stilt on nest. Photo: Dick Veitch.
Ground-nesting birds like the extremely 
rare black stilt are eaten by ferrets
Ferrets are not as widespread as stoats. However, ferrets have a significant effect on many riverbed breeding birds eg. black stilt, dotterel species and pied oystercatcher.
Ferrets are known to prey on royal albatross chicks, yellow-eyed penguin and little penguin, weka , North Island kiwi , and numerous freshwater wetland birds (eg. ducks).
They are considered as one of the major causes of decline of the white-flippered penguin, and as a significant and probable main cause (along with cats) of massive range contractions of grand and Otago skinks. 
Ground-nesting birds like the rare New Zealand dotterel and extremely rare black stilt, flightless birds like the kiwi, rare lizards and insects are eaten by ferrets. Even the yellow-eyed penguin, blue penguin and royal albatross are not safe from ferrets. Ferrets love eggs and attack and kill chicks and adult birds - even adult kiwi. Threatened giant weta make a tasty snack, and geckos and skinks are not immune from the dangers ferrets pose.
Species found in the same areas as rabbits are more at risk than others. For example, the black stilt in the rabbit-prone Mackenzie Basin and the New Zealand dotterel on the Coromandel's coastal dunes. However, kiwi are particularly at risk where they share their forest home with ferrets that specialise on rats and mice rather than rabbits. These ferrets are more likely to supplement their rodent diet with kiwi.

Ferrets even threaten New Zealand's farming industry as they can carry bovine tuberculosis (Tb), as possums do. In some possum-free areas, ferrets have tested positive for Tb.-X

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