Short-tailed Weasel

Mustela erminea

Other Common Names

Ermine, Stoat

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Found statewide in open woods, meadows, and suburban areas, it lives in underground burrows, often around rocks or large brush piles for dens. It actively hunts under the snow in prey tunnels and may use the fur of its prey to stay warm in its burrow.

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This carnivore eats voles, mice, squirrels, frogs, and insects; and must eat two thirds of its body weight every day to meet its dietary needs.

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Distinctive Characteristics

A long slender body to aid in chase of small prey, with a black-tipped tail and fur that changes color from brown in the summer to white in the winter.

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Mostly nocturnal, the Ermine may forage by day.

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Reproduction & Family Structure

A litter of four to eight is born in the spring.

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