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!



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

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