Wildlife advent calendar: Day 6: Stoat
High up in the Northern regions of Britain where the temperature is colder, stoats often change into their beautiful white coats ready for the winter season.
Stoats can be found throughout mainland Britain in a variety of different habitats. The change into their winter fur, which is known as ‘ermine’, is very much dependent on both temperature and genetics. Stoats that are further south than Scotland most of the time do not make this change or they only turn partially white. As Northern England and Scotland often experience the most amount of snow, these white coats act as a successful camouflage during bad weather.
Stoats are not the easiest animals to try and spot as they don’t like to hang around out in the open, but hopefully you will be lucky enough to see one on moorland and lowland farms.
As stoats are known for killing livestock, farmers often attempt to control the stoats themselves which can result in declines in local populations.
Image taken from Flickr user soumyajit nandy