Resources | Polecat

  • The return of the polecat

    VWT’s Lizzie Croose charts the course of this once widespread mammal in Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Magazine.


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  • The return of the polecat

    One of our least-known mammals, once almost driven to the point of extinction, is making a comeback across Britain. VWT’s Lizzie Croose reports for the Woodland Trust’s Magazine ‘WoodWise’.


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  • Croose, E. (2016) The Distribution and Status of the Polecat (Mustela putorius) in Britain 2014-2015

    Polecat distribution surveys at ten-year intervals have been recommended in order to monitor changes in polecat distribution. The aim of this survey was to gather up-to-date information on the distribution of polecats and polecat-ferrets during the period 2014-2015.


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  • Pembrokeshire’s elusive polecats

    VWT’s Lizzie Croose invites readers of ‘Pembrokeshire Life’ magazine to celebrate one of Pembrokeshire’s lesser-known mammals.


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  • Behaviour in Focus – Polecat

    VWT’s Mustelid Conservation Officer, Lizzie Croose, gives an expert briefing on the polecat for BBC Wildlife Magazine.


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  • The Polecat

    The polecat is a native British mammal and is widespread in western Europe. The polecat belongs to the weasel family, the Mustelidae, comprising over 60 species of badgers, otters, skunks, martens, mink, ferrets, stoats and weasels. Like many in this family, the polecat has a long body with short legs. It is generally dark in colour, especially on its chest, legs and tail that are covered in near-black Read More


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  • Polecats and Ferrets: How to tell them apart

    This leaflet gives the key distinguishing characters that separate polecats, ferrets and their hybrids. Given their close relationship, it is not surprising that it may be very difficult to distinguish them in the field. Reliable ways of telling polecats and ferrets apart is from close examination of the pelage and skull of a specimen and analysis of mitochondrial DNA.


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  • A guide to identifying the small mustelids of Britain and Ireland

    The small mustelids are characterised by their long thin body shape, which enables them to follow their prey down small tunnels and burrows. However, because of their similar body shape they can be difficult to distinguish from each other. This guide helps with the identification of the mustelid family.


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  • Quick-start guide to the identification of small mustelids

    This ‘quick-start’ guide shows the distinguishing features of members of the small mustelid family in Britain and Ireland, which includes the otter, pine marten, polecat, polecat-ferret, mink, stoat and weasel. It also shows common small mustelid tracks and signs.


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  • Shore, R.F. et al. (2003). Spatial and temporal analysis of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide residues in polecats

    Polecats in Britain are currently expanding their range eastwards from Wales to reoccupy central and eastern areas of England. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), to which polecats are exposed by eating contaminated prey, are used more extensively in these central and eastern regions, leading to fears of increased exposure, and possible resultant mortality.


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