Carnivora are also numerous, particularly the frequenters of cold climates, such as bears, weasels, wolves and foxes.
The skull is conical, stout and heavy, and the teeth, although sharper and less rounded than those of badgers, are less suited to a carnivorous diet than those of stoats, weasels and martens.
Ant-eaters (Orycteropus capensis), porcupines, weasels, squirrels, rock rabbits, hares and cane rats are common in different localities.
But foxes, skunks, weasels, musk-rats, rabbits, and grey and red squirrels are not uncommon.
Rabbits and squ'rrels are numerous in nearly all parts of the state; skunks, weasels, muskrats and woodchucks are common; there are some racoons; mink are frequently taken in the Adirondacks; and a few otter remain.
The importation of stoats and weasels, ferrets and cats has resulted in a process of extermination which has already made it necessary to set aside the islets Resolution, Kapiti and Little Barrier as sanctuaries.
Much more numerous are squirrels, rabbits, " groundhogs " (woodchucks), opossums, skunks, weasels and minks.
And birds of prey, as bears, wolves, foxes, dogs, wild cats, stoats, weasels, eagles, hawks and owls, and never spared by man; even domestic animals, as cattle, goats and reindeer, join in the destruction, stamping them to the ground with their feet, and even eating their bodies.
Under the protection of a game commission which was created in 1895, of some game preserves which have been established by this commission, and of various laws affecting wild animals and birds, the numbers of Virginia deer, black bear, rabbits, ruffed grouse, quail and wild turkeys have increased until in some of the wilder sections they are quite plentiful, while the numbers of weasels, minks, lynx and foxes have been diminished.
Some of the poorer sorts of furs, such as hamster, marmot, Chinese goats and lambs, Tatar ponies, weasels, kaluga, various monkeys, antelopes, foxes, otters, jackals and others from the warmer zones, which until recently were neglected on account of their inferior quality of colour, by the better class of the trade, are now being deftly dressed or dyed in Europe and America, and good effects are produced, although the lack of quality when compared with the better furs from colder climates which possess full top hair, close underwool and supple leathers, is readily manifest.
Foxes, martens, weasels, badgers and otters are to be found everywhere; bears are found in the Alps, wolves are rare, but they find their way sometimes from French territory to the western provinces, or from Poland to Prussia and Posen.
It is to the water what the other weasels are to the land, or martens to the trees, being as essentially aquatic in its habits as the otter, beaver, or musk-rat, and spending perhaps more of its time in the water than it does on land.
To check the increase of the rabbit, stoats, weasels and polecats (the last in the form of the domesticated ferret) were introduced into New Zealand on a very large scale in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Fauna.-The animal kingdom embraces, besides the usual domestic animals (as horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, asses, &c.), wild boars, deer, wild goats, hares, &c.; also bears, wolves, lynxes, foxes, wild cats, jackals, otters, beavers, polecats, martens, weasels and the like.
The mammals include black bear, deer, lynx, porcupine, fox, squirrels, hares, rabbits, musk rats, minks, weasels, skunks and woodchucks.
Bears are common, and so are a marten, several weasels and otters, and cats of various kinds and sizes, from the little spotted Felis bengalensis, smaller than a domestic cat, to animals like the clouded leopard rivalling a leopard in size.
Rattlesnakes, owls and weasels are commonly found in the burrows; but their presence is no indication of the existence of a kind of "happy family" arrangement, the snakes, at any rate, preying on the young marmots.