Saturday, 28 April 2007

Stoat (Mustela erminea)

Adult Stoat (subspecies A. a. stabilis) at Wooler, Northumbria - July 2009

OTHER NAMES: Ermine, Short Tailed Weasel
Featured Subspecies: Mustela erminea stabilis
Weight: 260g
Length: 17-32cm
UK STATUS NOT EVALUTATED IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Possibly the easiest to see of the UKs seven mustelid species, it is still however, quite an unusual occurrence to see one. It looks superficially similar to the weasel, but can be told apart by the substantially larger size and black tip to its tail. As with many mustelids, it is proportionally an incredibly powerful predator - killing animals many times its size and weight such as rabbits.  The Stoat in the UK remains brown throughout the year, but in more northerly populations they grow a thick white coat for camoflage during Winter, and it is in this form they are known as ermine and have been hunted for their fur in the past.

Related Species:
Order: Carnivora 

Family: Mustelidae 
Genus: Mustela 
SUBSPECIES: M. e. erminea, M. e. aestivaM. e. alascensisM. e. anguinaeM. e. arcticaM. e. augustidensM. e. bangsiM. e. celendaM. e. cigognaniiM. e. fallendaM. e. ferghanaeM. e. gulosaM. e. haidarumM. e. hibernicaM. e. initisM. e. invictaM. e. kaiacensisM. e. kaneiiM. e. karaginensisM. e. lymaniM. e. martinoiM. e. minimaM. e. muricusM. e. nipponM. e. ogneviM. e. olympicaM. e. polarisM. e. richarsoniiM. e. ricinaeM. e. salvaM. e. seclusaM. e. stabilisM. e. stratoriM. e. tebedinaM. e. tobolica 

Further Notes: RSPB, WikipediaBirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, ArkiveIUCN Red List

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