Survey Spotlight: Stoats!

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By Ed Snell, Yorkshire Pine Marten Officer

This isn’t quite the mustelid we’re looking for, but one of our recent pine marten surveys contained so many clips of stoats it seemed like a great opportunity to give them a spotlight in one of our camera trap compilations…

Stoats stoats stoats!

This survey managed to capture stoats in their summer and winter (ermine) coats over a couple of months, including some piebald stoats that are somewhere in between summer and winter coats with patches of white or white tails. In theory these changes in coat colour should help with seasonal camouflage but as you’ll see in the picture below, without snow cover ermine stoats really do stand out in a forest in their winter mode. 

We also posted a compilation of stoat clips last summer, after one of our camera sites attracted a repeat visitor. You can watch that video here and also learn some useful tips for identifying stoats (which is a useful skill as they’re often mistaken for pine martens!).

If you’d like to help with identifying the animals that pass by our camera traps, head over to MammalWeb and sign up as a spotter to start ID’ing. Our most recent upload to MammalWeb included several cameras from the survey that captured the stoats in the video above. There are thousands of pictures that we need your help with, and who knows – maybe you’ll find a marten?