The polecat used to be called a 'foul mart' because of its strong smell. The name polecat is said to be from the French poule chat,'the chicken cat' and it will kill chickens given the chance!

 Print

Overview

Polecat © Peter Trimming CC BY 2.0Order: Carnivora

Family: Mustelidae

Species: Mustela putorius

Distribution: mainly in Wales but spreading. Widespread throughout the rest of Europe, as far north as southern Sweden & southern Finland.

Habitat: variety of habitats but most often found in woodlands & hedgerows.

Size: male:- head & body 38cm; tail 14cm. Female is smaller.

Description: long, almost cylindrical body with short legs & tail. Dark brown fur with yellowish under-fur showing through; black underparts, legs & tail; white patches on face giving a distinct dark, mask-like pattern.

Weight: male up to 1.5kg. Female a little over half this.

Life-span: up to five years or more.

Food: mainly rodents, also rabbits, frogs, fish, worms and birds.

 

Read More: Introduction

Related Resources

Please donate £1 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world.

Donate £1 X