Weasel – Mustela nivalis

Weasel – Mustela nivalis

Weasels belong to this group of martens, which was once believed (and sometimes it is believed out) for the pest. it is true, that weasel often attacks small feathered game, like partridges and pheasants and small mammals, like young rabbits and hares. However, these small damages are compensated by the destruction of a large number of rodents, like mice, gopher and hamsters. Weasels are perfectly adapted to catch this type of prey. Thanks to its serpentine torso and short legs, it manages to squeeze into every mouse hole. Its little victims have no chance of escaping, when they are caught in the counting jaws 34 sharp teeth. Its food consists of 83% from rodents, w 5% with birds, w 4% with reptiles and frogs and v 8% from insects and eggs and medium-sized mammals. Weasel is active at night. In search of food, which i need from 20 do 40 g per day, is staying 1,5 do 2,5 km.

Weasel adapts to any type of environment, from the plains to the greatest heights. It occurs in Europe (except Ireland), in Asia and the Southwest of Africa. It settles in thickets, hedges, in thickets at the edge of a forest or field, and even in large gardens or farm yards.

Weasels move in leaps of 15-50 cm, leaving a trail similar to the traces of other martens. Front paw prints are 1.5-2 cm long, and the hind legs are slightly shorter (4).

Weasel it is 5-9 cm shorter than an ermine. The male is larger than the female by a third and it would be difficult to distinguish it from the female ermine if it were not for this, that the end of her tail is black all year round. In most areas, on which it occurs, there are individuals with a chestnut-cinnamon back and a white belly, both in summer and in winter (1). The transition between the two colors is not as clear as in the ermine, but rather fluid and kind of lacy. Weasels living in the north turn their fur perfectly white in winter (2), including the tail.

In spring and autumn, their transitional gown is multicolored (3). In some countries weasels are shot or trapped. Protected species.