STOATS AND WEASELS COMPARED
There is a saying that “a weasel is weasel-ey recognised and a stoat is stoat-ally different”, but it only serves to confirm how difficult it is to tell the two species apart.
These little brown mustelids are both fast and ferocious, with sinuous bodies and short legs. But there are a few key indicators to look for if you see a miniscule, slim brown mammal slip through the undergrowth at speed...
Black tip to the tail Stoat’s tails have a bristly black tip, whereas the weasel’s tail is much shorter and light brown all the way to its tip.
Size matters Stoats are always bigger than weasels. In simple terms, think of a weasel as a long sausage, whereas a stoat is more like a cucumber. There is quite a difference between the males and females of each species. A female weasel is tiny, weighing just 65g, while a male stoat is just over five and a half times heavier at 360g.
White in winter Stoats have the ability to turn white in winter, unlike weasels. However, not all stoats turn white, as it’s down to genetics. So just because it is winter, don’t dismiss a brown furred stoat as a weasel.