P448 Teletext 448 Oct 4 21:50:01       ————————————————————————————  POLECAT POPULATION EXPLOSION  Wild polecats used to be persecuted to the brink of extinction, but now they've slunk their way back! The boom in the cute creatures' numbjr could be due to another population explosion - in rabbits. "Polecats love preying on bunnies which is why their revival is good news for farmers," says wildlife biologist Johnny Birks, who has been studying the creatures for three years. ——————————————————————————————————1/5—— Go Green! environment magazine 460 NICK SORTS YOUR PROBLEMS p446 Write It! Digitiser Flicks Green
P448 Teletext 448 Oct 4 21:51:04       ————————————————————————————  POLECAT POPULATION EXPLOSION  Wildlife biologist Johnny Birks, who has been studying polecats with the Vincent Wildlife Trust, says the little creatures have suffered from a bad reputation in the past. "Polecats were seen as vermin and were on the brink of extinction at the start of this century," he says. "But now they have moved east from Wales and spread to parts of England and Scotland." ——————————————————————————————————2/5—— Go Green! environment magazine 460 NICK SORTS YOUR PROBLEMS p446 Write It! Digitiser Flicks Green
P448 Teletext 448 Oct 4 21:51:03       ————————————————————————————  POLECAT POPULATION EXPLOSION  The British polecat population now stands at around 15,000, but they are more scarce near roads and often fall victim to traps set for other animals. Johnny Birks has been researching these nocturnal creatures for three years and has spent many nights lying in wait. "I trapped and sedated them. Then I fitted radio tracking devices to their necks and waited to see what happened." ——————————————————————————————————3/5—— What the polecat got up to >>>>>>> GET ALL THE GOSSIP p443 Write It! Digitiser Flicks Green
P448 Teletext 448 Oct 4 21:51:10       ————————————————————————————  POLECAT POPULATION EXPLOSION  Johnny Birks tells Eco-Scene what happened when he lay in wait one winter night to study polecats at a farm. "It was the middle of the night, when a polecat I'd tagged came into the yard. I could hear a huge rat population scratching under some corrugated iron." "Then I heard the polecat go in and kill one of them - it was really exciting to get so close!" he says. ——————————————————————————————————4/5—— Get the polecat facts here>>>>>>> FUN AND GAMES INDEX p450 Write It! Digitiser Flicks Green
P448 Teletext 448 Oct 4 21:51:12       ————————————————————————————  POLECAT POPULATION EXPLOSION  Polecats' fave snooze place is rabbit burrows. It's like bed and breakfast! They are Mustelids, which means they have scent glands on their rear ends, like their stoat and weasel cousins. They can stand up on their hind tegs to see in fields of tall grass. Contrary to myth, they don't stink! Polecats only produce scent in self- defence or when they're frightened. ———————————————————————————————————5/5—— Get into the Mega-zine 442 WRITE IT! COMPETITION p449 Write It! Digitiser Flicks Green