Educational & Nonfiction

For those searching for a more in-depth read on mustelids, these books will assist you with your studies, or general curiosity.

Literature by Species

American Mink

(1) The New Sport of Minkenry: The Art of Taming, Training, and Hunting with one of Nature’s Most Intense Predators by Joseph Carter [ISBN: 978-1500400668]

Mink are famous worldwide for their luxurious coat of fur, and yet most people know very little about them beyond their use as clothing. Even trappers, naturalists, and fur farmers, those who should know mink best, typically know only one side of the mink… their bad side. Those who do “know mink” will tell you how extremely aggressive and blood thirsty the mink is, and truth be told, they aren’t that far off. But there is a different side to mink that very few have seen.

This book not only tells how the art of Minkenry began, but more importantly, it is a step by step guide to those wanting to train a hunting mink. In this book I share how to tame, train, and properly care for this very intense little predator, the North American mink. Though still in its infancy, the sport of minkenry has been spreading thanks to the information sharing power of the Internet. First started in the western state of Utah, there are now minkeners springing up across the United States, and even as far away as the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries! As there is a growing need for a “how to” manual on the art of minkenry, this book was written specifically to fill that need. Minkenry is a very challenging sport, and is definitely not for everyone!

Though highly intelligent, and surprisingly affectionate, mink are also very high-strung and stubborn creatures. They typically use their intelligence to work against you, far more than they do to work with you. Though not an adventure for the faint of heart; falconers, hunters, trappers, and other sportsmen worldwide, are being drawn to the art of minkenry with a pioneer’s spirit. They have the desire to become part of something that has never been done before! If you yearn to experience the challenge of hunting with an aggressive, high strung, truly wild animal; then join us and become one of the pioneers in the new sport of minkenry!


(1) Badgers at My Window by Phil Drabble [ISBN: 978-0853801863]

Requires a synopsis.

(2) Badger Behaviour Conservation & Rehabilitation by George E. Pearce [ISBN: 978-1907807046]

A fascinating insight into the badger’s world. Badger biology, life in the sett, rescue & rehabilitation, consultancy, badgers & farming, and badger-watching with George Pearce – an expert on badgers.

George has surveyed over 700 sites, visited 1,500 setts, been consulted as an expert in 120 animal cruelty cases and rehabilitated more than 100 badgers. Brought up on a farm, he earned his living as a farmer for 45 years. Today, he is a badger consultant and one of the foremost experts on the British mammal he admires the most.

(3) The Natural History of Badgers by Ernest G. Neal [ISBN: 978-0816014095]

Discusses the habitats, behavior, feeding habits, and social life of badgers and examines the relationship between humans and badgers.

(4) No Badgers in my Wood by Phil Drabble [ISBN: 978-0718118532]

Requires a synopsis.

(5) When Badgers Wake by Phil Drabble

Requires a synopsis.

Ferrets & Polecats

(1) Polecats (The British Natural History Collection) by Johnny Birks [ISBN: 978-1873580981]

A book by the same author above. This one takes notice of the polecat, and its silent recovery in Britain.


(1) Fisher: Life History, Ecology, and Behavior by Roger A. Powell [ISBN: 978-0816622665]

The Fisher is the first in-depth study of all that is known about this fascinating mammal. Incorporating new research findings from the past decade in this second edition, Roger A. Powell skillfully examines contemporary knowledge of fisher biology, ecology, and behavior and places it in an evolutionary perspective that gives insight into how and why fishers evolved as they did. Included is detailed information on: -the anatomy, reproduction, and development of the fisher; -population dynamics and the history of continent-wide population declines and recovery; -habitat requirements; -food and hunting behavior; -the fascinating predator-prey relationship between fishers and porcupines; -spacing patterns and social organization; -energetics, conservation, and more. This classic reference, now revised and updated, is a valuable resource for biologists and wildlife managers who work with fishers, martens, and other members of the weasel family, as well as anyone interested in this North American mammal.


(1) Pine Martens (The British Natural History Collection) by Johnny Birks [ISBN: 978-1873580325]

A book about European pine marten ecology and behaviour in Britain and Ireland. Author Johnny Birks combines the latest research with very personal descriptions, complimented by humorous illustrations that are right on point; as well as high quality photos.

(2) A Richness of Martens: Wildlife Tales from Ardnamurchan by Polly Pullar, illustrator Sharon Tingey, and contributor John Lister-Kaye [ISBN: 978-1780275208]

When Les and Chris Humphreys moved to Ardnamurchan 15 years ago, little did they realise they would be sharing their home with some of Britain’s most elusive and misunderstood mustelids. Amongst all the animals and birds that visit their garden, they have formed a special bond with numerous European pine martens, and have studied them and a cast of other creatures at close range through direct observation and via sensor-operated cameras.

Naturalist and photographer Polly Pullar has known the Humphreys and their European pine martens for many years. In this book she tells the remarkable story of the couple and their animal friends, interpolating it with natural history, anecdote and her own experiences of the wildlife of the area. The result is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a much misunderstood animal and a passionate portrait of one of Scotland’s richest habitats – the oakwoods of Scotland’s Atlantic seaboard.

(3) I Mårskogen by Jan Rabben and Ole Jakob Vorraa [ISBN: 82-994320-2-2]

A Norwegian only tribute to the shadow of the forest, the elusive European pine marten, as well as its world and the other inhabitants it shares its space with. Jan Rabben and Ole Jakob Vorraa spent seven years gathering the material for the book and gaining the trust of the animals, with stunning results. While the text is both fascinating and personal read for those who know the Norwegian language, the book is recommended to anyone for its large photos alone, giving you insight to the magic of the woods as if you were there yourself.


(1) An Otter’s Story by Emil E. Liers

A true story of the lives of two otters, their parents and cubs. The story was written by a Minnesota naturalist in the hope that it would clear up some of the misunderstanding about these little animals.

(2) Bee a Particular Otter by Daphne Neville, illustrated by Jaquie Govier [ISBN: 978-0907537038]

Bee is an Asian short-clawed Otter and lives with Daphne Neville, a good friend and supporter of the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF).  Bee travels with Daphne and helps raise awareness in otters.  She is also a companion and is often invited, along with Daphne, to various gatherings and events. This book briefly tells some of Bee’s adventures over the years that she has been with Daphne and contains lovely colour illustrations by Jaquie Govier.

(3) The Life Story of An Otter by John Coulson Tregarthen [ISBN: 9781975748173]

Requires a synopsis.

(4) Otters of the World by Paul & Grace Yoxon [ISBN: 978-184995-1296]

Having worked for over 20 years on otter conservation of all 13 species, the authors wished to share their experiences of these beautiful animals. People may be familiar with the Asian small-clawed otters, often found in zoos, or the sea otter, well-known for lying on its back cracking open shells, but may not be aware that there are more fascinating species. It is hoped the book will increase public support for the work of the IOSF (International Otter Survival Fund) and awareness of the terrible plight of otters which in many countries are on the verge of extinction. Each species is listed in the IUCN Red Data List and yet little attention is given to their predicament.

The illegal wildlife trade in otters is huge – not just for furs and body parts but as pets. In some parts of the world otters are disappearing rapidly and unless urgent action is taken they will be gone forever. The Hairy-Nosed Otter was thought to be extinct in 1998 but funds provided by the IOSF led to a survey in southern Thailand where a small population was found. Since then populations have been found in Vietnam, Cambodia and Sumatra, but these are small and very fragile. This type of conservation work is vital because so often the plight of otters is overlooked for other high profile species such as tigers and elephants. Otters stand at the top of the food chain on both land and water so they are an ideal indicator of a healthy environment.  Otters of the World is an introduction to the magical world of otters and is complemented with many wonderful photos, with distribution maps for each species. Readership: an essential and unmissable read for anyone interested in nature, wildlife, conservation and especially otters.

(5) Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation by Hans Kruuk [ISBN: 978-0198565871]

This book includes information about all species of otter in North America, Europe and elsewhere throughout the world.

(6) Sea Otters by John A. Love [ISBN: 978-1555911232]

Exploring the habits, habitats, and antics of the North American sea otter, the author of The Return of the Sea Eagle traces the problems and perseverance that have marked the history of this thick-furred and beautiful sea mammal. Sea Otters offers a detailed introduction to the behavior, conservation efforts and future threats that endanger this beloved animal.


(1) The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats: Ecology, Behavior, and Management by Carolyn M. King and Roger A. Powell, illustrated by Consie Powell [ISBN: 978-0195322712]

A very well written book that goes to great lengths to explain the truths about stoats and other weasels across the world; as well as their impact in different environments. You’ll learn about both the positives and negatives, but the book maintains a mostly friendly image of these mustelids.

Despite the high number of pages, this book uses a clear language supplied with illustrations that makes it fun to plow through, while still managing to satisfy scientific needs.

(2) Women and Weasels: Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome by Maurizio Bettini, Emlyn Eisenach [ISBN: 978-0226044743]

If you told a woman her sex had a shared, long-lived history with weasels, she might deck you. However, those familiar with mythology know better: that the connection between women and weasels is an ancient and favorable one, based in the Greek myth of a midwife who tricked the gods to ease Heracles’s birth—and was turned into a weasel by Hera as punishment.


(1) The Wolverine Way by Douglas H. Chadwick [ISBN: 978-0980122749]

Glutton, demon of destruction, symbol of slaughter, mightiest of wilderness villains… The wolverine comes marked with a reputation based on myth and fancy. Yet this enigmatic animal is more complex than the legends that surround it. With a shrinking wilderness and global warming, the future of the wolverine is uncertain. The Wolverine Way reveals the natural history of this species and the forces that threaten its future, engagingly told by Douglas Chadwick, who volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project. This five-year study in Glacier National Park – which involved dealing with blizzards, grizzlies, sheer mountain walls, and other daily challenges to survival – uncovered key missing information about the wolverine’s habitat, social structure and reproduction habits. Wolverines, according to Chadwick, are the land equivalent of polar bears in regard to the impacts of global warming. The plight of wolverines adds to the call for wildlife corridors that connect existing habitat that is proposed by the Freedom to Roam coalition.

Contains Multiple Mustelids

(1) Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 1 by Lynx Edicions, illustrated by Toni Llobet [ISBN: 978-84-96553-49-1]

These are so-called ”coffee table books”- huge, heavy books meant for display with large pictures in them. Mustelids are included in the first volume, Carnivores; and while it’s not entirely mustelid-centered, we’d like to suggest it as an extra addition to the list because the illustrated plates are among the best we’ve seen. It provides a full guide to all the species within Mustelidae, as well as a nice comparison to all the other families within the order Carnivora.

(2) Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown [ISBN: 978-1338089349]

Bison? They’re banned! Tigers? Taboo! Say good-bye to the gnu, cheerio to the cheetah, and peace to the panda. The world of Lesser Spotted Animals STARTS HERE! Find out all about the amazing animals you need to know but never get to see, from the numbat to the zorilla, and everything in between. – Author’s description.

Although not 100% about mustelids, this book was included as a rare exception due to the author’s attempt to educate children about lesser known animals. They mention the black-footed ferret, and even the striped polecat—which is an animal you’ll be hard pressed to find mentioned in any other children’s book.

Mr. Brown is also the author of Even More Lesser Spotted Animals [ISBN: 978-1338349610], which includes the yellow-throated marten. We applaud Mr. Brown’s efforts to bring a little uncharismatic minifauna to the world.

Children’s Literature | Young Adult Literature |  Educational & Nonfiction

Mustelids in Media