Ermine/Short-Tailed Weasel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ermine/Short-Tailed Weasel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ermine/Short-Tailed Weasel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ermine/Short-Tailed Weasel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image 
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Ermine/Short-Tailed Weasel
Mustela erminea

Weasels
Weasels, Skunks & Allies (Mustelidae)

Measurement: Size: 30-40 cm Weight: 80 g

Description: The ermine is smaller than the similar long-tailed weasel. In summer, it has a light underside and brown back. The tail is tipped with black. In winter, their coat changes to snow white with the exception of a black tip to the tail. The larger long-tailed weasel has a visibly longer tail. Otherwise, the two species look familiar.

Range: The ermine is found across most of Canada and the northern United States, with populations following the Rocky Mountains south.

Diet: Their long slim bodies allow them to enter the burrows of ground squirrels, pikas and marmots. They will take any small prey they can catch including mice, voles, amphibians, fish, eggs, nestlings, birds, insects, and worms.. They are ravenous feeders that will cache extra food for use during lean periods. Most of their meals are carried back to the dens for a more leisurely feed.

They are in turn hunted by coyotes, lynx, badgers, fox, martens and other larger weasels, as well as owls and hawks.

Reproduction: They mate in the spring and summer, with implantation delayed until March. They give birth in May to between 4 and 9 offspring.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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