What is the difference between a Ferret and a Stoat?

What is the difference between a Ferret and a Stoat?

Well shock horror after changing The bait in our DOC 200 traps to dried rabbit from Connovation, we got our first Mustelid, which I thought was Stoat, as our trap is for Stoats.

In the past we tried Sardines, eggs and Peanut Butter but the dried Rabbit is the only thing that seemed to work.

I thought it was a Stoat but I did think it was strange that half of the Animal was outside the trap?

But after posting a picture on Instagram, many people put us right. Isn’t that the great thing about the Internet. The Stoat was in fact a Ferret. This was also confirmed by the Community Park Ranger “Aimee Hoeberigs”.

From a great article of on the DOC website Ferrets

The ferret is the largest Mustelid in New Zealand.

Ferrets usually have a black face mask and are much larger in size than a Stoats. Stoats also have a straight line between the body fur and the belly. Usually the body is brown with the belly being white.

Size differences Between Ferrets and Stoats

A ferret is 35 cm to 45 cm long and weighs 680 grams to 1 kg. Males are larger than the females.

Male stoats are 15 cm 22 cm long and weigh 70 grams to 170 grams, the females are 12 cm to 20 cm inches long and weigh 42 grams to 70 grams.

The stoat’s tail is longer than a ferret’s.

Here is great drawing courtesy of Predator free New Zealand that shows these difference.

The article also states
Although rabbits are the main diet of ferrets, this Mustelid will attack, kill and eat native species.

So very happy we managed to remove this killing machine from the Waitakere area :-).

Comment below if you have any tips on how to spot the differences.

Other Interesting Articles

  • How to Target Ferrets – Here is great post from Predator Free NZ, Targeting Ferrets
  • Stoat or weasel? How to tell the difference, Great post from the Woodland Trust HERE

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