Suffolk Polecat Survey
The Polecat (Mustela putorius) was pushed to the brink of extinction over 100 years ago. Labelled 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.
Photos of Polecats by Martin Hancock taken at British Wildlife Centre