Is that a Long-tailed weasel??

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Long Tailed Weasel – Mustela frenata
Is SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve home to long-tailed weasels? After SHADOW volunteer, Ray Owens, captured this video on one of the Nature Preserve’s trapper cameras, we deliberated amongst ourselves to ID this little critter. The prevailing thought from our office was that this SHADOW resident, who was spotted in the riparian corridor along Jenkin’s Creek, is a long-tailed weasel. What do you think?

Click on the video above to watch the weasel spotted at SHADOW!

This guess is substantiated by the animal’s smaller size and the black mark at the end of its tail. Our weasel’s have carnivorous diets, preying on mountain beavers, ground squirrels, and other rodents, all of which are plentiful on SHADOW’s grounds. They can be difficult to distinguish in the field from the short-tailed weasel and both species can turn white, to blend in where there is an abundance of snow.

Weasels have long, narrow bodies that make them strong burrowers. They, however, lack the ability to roll up into a ball, like a dog or a cat. Instead, to stay warm in the winter, they eat a lot! They also require well insulated bedding locations.

Want more knowledge? 

Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest: David Moskowitz

 

WA Nature Mapping Program: Long-tailed Weasel

Article contributed to by:
SHADOW Volunteer Ray Owens