A new study has found that the population of Britain’s carnivores like badgers, otters, pine martens, polecats, stoats and weasels has improved markedly since the 1960s. Some of these mammals were actually on the verge of extinction and their revival is being credited to a reduction in hunting and the use of toxic chemicals by humans.
However, scientists warn that while carnivore populations have recovered over the course of a human lifetime, most are still at long-term historical lows, with much more scope for recovery in distribution and density.
“Most of these species have essentially recovered by themselves, once pressures from predator controls and pollutants were reduced, and it’s taken them a while. Yes, there are more of them now than in most people’s lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for populations to grow and spread further,” said lead author Katie Sainsbury from the Environment and Sustainability Institute at Exeter University.