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101 Facts About Stoats

  • The stoat is a small-sized mammal, with males 19–32 cm and females slightly smaller at 17–27 cm. 
  • Stoats belong to the mustelid family.
  • Stoats are also known as short-tailed weasels.
  • The stoat is nominated as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species.
  • The stoat ranks as one of North America’s top 10 invasive mammals.
  • Stoats are solitary animals.
  • In North America, Stoats are found throughout Canada and Alaska down south through most of the northern United States to central California.
  • Stoats inhabit various habitats, including moorland, woodland, farms, coastal areas, and mountainous regions across the Northern Hemisphere.
  • For 101 facts on weasels, click here.
  • Stoats have a long, slender, cylindrical body and neck, short legs, and a long tail.
  • The stoat is more prominent in size and weight than a weasel.
  • Stoats weigh, on average, 200 to 445 grams.
  • Male stoats are more significant than females.
  • The stoat is noticeably more significant than a weasel and has a distinctive black tip to its tail.
  • The stoat has an average lifespan of between 4 to 5 years.
  • Stoats are solitary except during the breeding season when stoats come together to mate.
  • The stoat is a carnivorous animal.
  • The diet of the stoat consists mainly of other animals.
  • Stoats hunt animals, including rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • For 101 facts on moose, click here.
  • The stoat’s favorite food is rabbit.
  • The stoat has been said to immobilize prey such as rabbits by dancing.
  • Although the stoat is small, they hunt several animals more significantly than themselves. 
  • The stoat has exceptionally sharp teeth, which can issue a nasty and painful bite.
  • Young stoats are raised in the warmer months of May and June.
  • Stoats delay the implant of the fertilized egg in the wall of the uterus for 280 days.
  • The pregnancy period is between 21 and 28 days.
  • The young babies are weaned at five weeks.
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  • The average lifespan of a stoat is very short, typically one and a half years. However, they can live up to 7 years of age.
  • The female stoat gives birth to between 5 and 15 babies.
  • The mother stoat will do anything to protect their young.
  • Some larger animals a stoat will hunt include foxes, dogs, cats, and snakes.
  • The mother nurses the stoat babies until they are over a month old. The pups will then begin to learn to hunt.
  • Stoats can kill their prey at 12 weeks.
  • The pups are independent by the time they are three months of age.
  • Male stoats are called dogs, bucks, jacks, or hobs.
  • Female stoats are called bitches, does, or jills.
  • For 101 facts on armadillos, click here.
  • Baby stoats are known as kits.
  • A group of stoats is called a caravan.
  • Stoats are born blind, deaf, and toothless and covered in a very fine down.
  • When Stoats are three weeks old, they grow their first set of teeth.
  • Stoats can eat solid food when they are four weeks old.
  • Baby Stoats’ eyes don’t open until they are about a month old.
  • Baby Stoats will drink their mother’s milk until they are twelve weeks old.
  • Humans have hunted stoats for their fur.
  • Stoats have two types of fur, summer fur and winter fur.
  • The fur of a stoat is chestnut brown in summer.
  • In winter, in the northern regions of North America, stoat fur becomes thicker and turns white. The white fur is known as ermine.
  • For 101 facts on bighorn sheep, click here.
  • The winter fur is dense, silky, and short.
  • White fur covers the stoat in wintery conditions.
  • The summer fur of a stoat is rougher, shorter, and sparse than the winter coat.
  • The stoat is an opportunistic killer. They rush and check every available burrow or crevice for food.
  • In all seasons, the stoat has a black tip to its tail.
  • Stoats have a good sense of sight, smell, and hearing, which they use to help them prey.
  • Stoats are very alert and good climbers. They may take young birds from a nest.
  • Stoats are strong swimmers
  • Stoats are capable of crossing wide rivers.
  • Stoats make nests of grass and leaves. They make their nests in hollow trunks, molehills, walls, banks, caves, and rock crevices.
  • The female stoat is territorial in the breeding season. However, male stoats are not.
  • For 101 facts on grizzly bears, click here.
  • Stoats, like a squirrel, can descend a tree trunk headfirst.
  • A stoat is capable of killing animals much more significantly than itself.
  • Stoats kill their prey1 by a bite to the back of the neck.
  • Stoats can move at speeds of 20 miles per hour when hunting.
  • The larger male stoats generally take hunt larger prey than females.
  • Stoats usually travel alone, except when it is a mating season or they are a mother with older offspring.
  • Stoat communication occurs mainly by scent, as the stoat has a sensitive olfactory system.
  • Stoats do not see color as well as humans, but they can see better at night. 
  • Stoats have a good sense of smell, and they hunt using scent.
  • For 101 facts on blue whales, click here.
  • The stoat releases an overpowering musky smell from its anal glands.
  • Stoats can spray a bad-smelling fluid when they are scared.
  • Stoats are one of the few animals able to follow burrowing mammals into their homes.
  • Stoats are surprisingly multi-talented: they can run, swim, climb trees and even dance.
  • Stoats moved over to North America approximately 500,000 years ago.
  • The stoat usually moves by a series of jumps, with its back strongly arched.
  • Stoats can travel long distances very quickly.
  • Stoats have been known to travel 70 km in just two weeks. 
  • Stoats are intelligent creatures, hypnotizing prey with dance and making rabbits forget to run away. 
  • Stoats are very suspicious of bait and traps and are challenging to catch.
  • For 101 facts on polar bears, click here.
  • Stoats tend to occur in areas with lower temperatures and higher snowfall.
  • A stoat can do a great deal of damage. Like a fox, they will kill many birds but only eat one.
  • The stoat is usually a silent animal but can produce a range of sounds.
  • A kit produces a slight chirping noise.
  • Adults trill before mating and show submission through quiet trilling, whining, and squealing noises.
  • Stoats will mainly hunt rats, mice, birds, rabbits, hares, possums, and insects.
  • Stoats will eat lizards, freshwater crayfish, roadkill, hedgehogs, and fish.
  • Stoats are capable of swimming up to about 1.5km.
  • Stoats can be a nuisance due to the size of their families.
  • For 101 facts on wolverines, click here.
  • A female stoat can produce up to 12 kits at a time but usually have 4-6 babies.
  • Stoats can attack and defeat animals up to twenty times heavier than them.
  • Stoats are not endangered animals but have been hunted and farmed for their fur. 
  • Stoats can be used to control rabbit populations.
  • Stoats are long and thin with short legs, small ears, and thick warm fur.
  • A stoat’s fur is brown but changes to white in the winter.
  • Stoats are furry mammals with long, thin bodies. 
  • Stoats have a pointed snout.
  • The stoat is on the IUCN red list as the slightest concern.
  • Stoats have eyes that are black, round, and slightly protruding.
  • Stoats like open landscapes and will avoid forests.
  • For 101 facts on jaguars, click here.
  • Stoats prefer sandy, dry areas such as hedgerows, fallow land, and dry ditches and embankments.
  • Stoats communicate with each other by using hissing and singing sounds.
  • Despite their small size, stoats can quickly eat five mice daily.
  • Stoats are most active during sunrise and sunset.

If you are unsure of the difference between a stoat and a weasel, this article I have written should help. You can read it here.