Research and Conservation of Mustelids in the Balkans

Stoat (Mustela erminea) (Photo: Lars Soerink / Vilda)Much is unknown about the mustelid species in the Balkan peninsula. Although ten different native mustelid species occur in the region, little information about their ecology is known. Within the Balkans, the mustelids could, compared to elsewhere in Europe, have unique features such as different diets, different habitat preferences or perhaps different subspecies occur here. More knowledge is vital for the understanding and protection of the species.

Therefore, the Habitat Foundation is setting up a platform where researchers, ecologists, volunteers and enthusiasts can combine their strengths for the mustelids. The platform will be called Research and Conservation of Mustelids in the Balkans (RCMB).

The platform will function as a method to connect those in the Balkans interested in mustelids, provide training, share experiences and discussions, support research and conservation activities, and supply necessary materials such as camera traps. Any knowledge gained can be a valuable contribution to the 2nd European Mammal Atlas.

The RCMB also aims to start with a gathering in 2020 on mustelids in the Balkans. Scientists, ecologists, enthusiasts, volunteers and anyone else interested in mustelids from the region will be invited to participate.


The long term goals of the project are:

  1. To share knowledge with people about the mustelid species;
  2. To connect all those involved;
  3. To cover all mustelid species per country;
  4. To provide methods for performing research;
  5. To support in setting up, arranging the necessary funds and/or materials for research;
  6. To gain the attention of a broader public in the Balkans into mustelids;
  7. To contribute to the support of the conservation of mustelids in the Balkans;
  8. To create an annual workshop, preferably every time in a different Balkan country, where previous and new participants can join to discuss the progress, share new knowledge and learn (new) methods;
  9. To create a common database about mustelids, shared among the participants of the platform.

Would you like to participate in the project? Feel free to contact us! Write an email to

Do take note of the following:

  • The project is focused on the following countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia;
  • You are able to participate if you’re not from one of the previously named states. But the project is focused on this region;
  • The platform is an unpaid and a spare-time effort;
  • There are no specific knowledge or experiences required for participation. But you are expected to be able to provide a useful contribution to the platform;
  • There is no obligation in attendance or in the size of your contribution, after all, is it an unpaid and spare-time project. But the bigger your attendance and contribution, the more beneficial it is to everyone;

It is also possible to sign up for updates about the project. Feel free sign yourself up via


The RCMB is an unpaid and spare time project. This means the success of the project will be dependable on donations. Both financial (for example organising the workshop) and materials (for example materials used in mustelid research, such as camera traps) are very much appreciated.
You are directed to the donation module of The Habitat Foundation

Least weasel (Mustela nivalis) (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda)

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