The Small Mustelid Foundation (SMF) leads efforts for the conservation and study of small carnivores in the Mustela genus, such as weasel, stoat, and polecat. We do this, amongst other things, through research into the ecology and behaviour of small mustelids, often in (inter)national collaboration, and the support of conservation measures. An important goal is to bring together scientists, ecologists, naturalists and volunteers that study small mustelids and sharing of knowledge and methods. Through our efforts, we hope to get a better grip on the population status of small mustelids in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, while simultaneously developing better tools and methods to study this important species group.
Since 2017, small mustelids have gotten a more protective status under the Nature Conservation Act in various provinces of the Netherlands. Now, field research and impact analyses are obligatory with spatial development projects. To do a thorough field study and impact assessment for this species group is complex and requires a certain degree of specialism. An additional goal of the SMF therefore is to fulfill an advisory and support role for ecologists, consultants and policy makers. In this way, knowledge and expertise can grow at a national level, which will contribute to the protection and eventually the conservation of small mustelids.
The SMF is a non-profit organisation and uses donations and financial contributions, resulting from workshops, consultancy and presentations, for small mustelid research and conservation purposes in the Netherlands and abroad.