The Polecat (Mustela putorius) was pushed to the brink of extinction over 100 years ago. Labeled as probably one of the most hated mammal species, the last survivors retreated to Wales and remote parts of Scotland. Surveys conducted by the Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) over the last 23 years however have noted the gradual return of the Polecat to its former ranges and the latest survey for 2014/15 shows a relatively strong presence in Suffolk.
Whilst the VWT survey has now concluded, the Suffolk Mammal Group is keen to continue monitoring Polecat distribution in Suffolk. A major part of this monitoring is the ability to be able to distinguish ‘true’ Polecats from their domesticated cousins, ferrets, with whom they interbreed.
SBIS has teamed up with the Suffolk Mammal Group to produce a bespoke Polecat survey form which aims to collect sightings of 'true' polecats in Suffolk. Built upon our basic three stage recording form the survey includes additional questions to input further details about your observation.
For this survey it is ideal but not compulsary that you also submit a photo. Photos should ideally include the full body, including paws and a close up of the face - this should help verification. Sightings submitted without this information may not become verified. If you own a camera trap and this was used to make your observation - please include freeze frames detailing the above features and if possible provide a link to your video (if it is posted online) in the comment field.
The homepage for the survey can be found here: