THE following attempt to outline the past history and present status of the mammalian fauna of Cardiganshire is, so far as the writer knows, the first that has been made. The only previous paper on the mammals of the county appears to be that by F. S. Wright/ and that was concerned with North Cardiganshire only and dates back to almost half a century ago. EXTINCT SPECIES AND CHANGING HABITATS The earliest reference in literature to the mammals of Cardiganshire is the well-known one in the Itinerary through Wales of Giraldus Cam- brensis, where he records the survival, towards the close of the twelfth century, of the Beaver in only one place in England and Wales, namely on the River Teifi. He gives a long account of the methods used by the Beavers in building their dams, of their habits and anatomy, and the appearance and use of their tails. There appears to be no reason for doubting his statement, since remains of Beaver show that the species was widely distributed in Great Britain from Palaeolithic and Pre- historic times onwards both in England and in Scotland and literary evidence includes a passage in the Laws of Hywel Dda in which the Beaver's hide was reckoned as the most valuable of all. In Scotland also Beavers are included in a twelfth-century list of animals whose skins were subject to export duty in the reign of David I. Camden, however, in his Britannia (1637), remarks, Tivie was in times past the onely British River, as Giraldus Cambrensis was of opinion, that had Bevers in it but at this day none of them are heere to be seene.' The tradition of Beavers in the Teifi was, however, very persistent, and Daniel Defoe in his Tour through England and Wales mentions that the local people told him that the animals were then still there, at the end of the seventeenth century although he comments that none of his informants could show him a skin or claim to have actually seen them. The tradition of the Teifi Beavers has led to the statement that the area in the upper reaches of the Cledlyn and the Grannell, tributaries of the Teifi, became famous for the manufacture of Beaver hats, made from the skin of the animal ;2 but it seems extremely doubtful whether the survival of the Beavers could have persisted as late as the period when Beaver hats were a common article of dress, and such hats were in fact made from the felted fur (not from the skin) of the American Beaver. 1See list of references at the end of this paper. 2 Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol. 4 (1926), p. 85.