MAM­MAL

Bird Watching (UK) - - Beyond Birdwatching -

STOAT Three Bri­tish crea­tures are renowned for turn­ing wholly white in win­ter: Ptarmi­gan, Moun­tain Hare and Stoat. Our warm­ing cli­mate, how­ever, may have started to make a mock­ery of the lat­ter’s er­mine cam­ou­flage. The Stoat’s pi­tu­itary gland con­trols if and when to moult into white pelage, re­act­ing to cues in tem­per­a­ture and day length. With less win­ter snow with which to blend, fewer stoats trans­form their ap­pear­ance (and those that do tend to live far­ther north). Most stick with the same colour scheme year round.

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