Least weasel

The smallest carnivorous predator in the world and so have limited fat stores and need to eat more than 50% of the body weight

Keven Law

The least weasel is a fascinating and agile predator renowned for its slender, tubular body, short limbs, and distinctive coat variations. During the winter months, the least weasel dons a coat of pure white fur, providing excellent camouflage against snowy landscapes. In contrast, the summer season brings a transformation, with the fur adopting a rusty chocolate brown hue on the back while retaining its white underbelly.

One notable feature of the least weasel is its non-retractable claws, which adorn each of its toes and serve as essential tools for capturing prey and navigating its environment. These sharp claws provide traction on various surfaces, enabling the least weasel to maneuver swiftly and efficiently as it hunts for food.

Despite its diminutive size, the least weasel possesses remarkable hunting prowess, often targeting prey species that are larger than itself. With agile movements and keen senses, the least weasel stealthily stalks its prey, relying on its speed and agility to capture the elusive quarry. Small rodents such as mice and voles comprise the primary diet of the least weasel, reflecting its specialization as a rodent hunter. However, the least weasel’s diet is not limited to rodents alone, as it also preys upon rabbits, birds, frogs, and other small vertebrates found within its habitat.

A unique aspect of the least weasel’s hunting behavior is its propensity to store excess food for future consumption. After capturing prey, the least weasel may consume only a few grams of meat before stashing the remainder in its burrow or cache site. This behavior ensures a constant supply of food during times of scarcity, providing the least weasel with vital sustenance to survive harsh environmental conditions and periods of limited prey availability.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2015
Albania
2015
Algeria
2015
Origin Uncertain
Andorra
2015
Armenia
2015
Austria
2015
Azerbaijan
2015
Belarus
2015
Belgium
2015
Bosnia And Herz.
2015
Bulgaria
2015
Canada
2015
China
2015
Croatia
2015
Czechia
2015
Denmark
2015
Estonia
2015
Finland
2015
France
2015
Georgia
2015
Germany
2015
Greece
2015
Hungary
2015
Iran
2015
Italy
2015
Japan
2015
Kazakhstan
2015
Korea
2015
Kyrgyzstan
2015
Latvia
2015
Lebanon
2015
Liechtenstein
2015
Lithuania
2015
Luxembourg
2015
Malta
2015
Origin Uncertain
Moldova
2015
Monaco
2015
Mongolia
2015
Montenegro
2015
Morocco
2015
Origin Uncertain
Netherlands
2015
New Zealand
2015
Introduced
North Korea
2015
North Macedonia
2015
Norway
2015
Poland
2015
Portugal
2015
Introduced: Azores
Romania
2015
Russia
2015
San Marino
2015
Sao Tome And Principe
2015
Introduced: Sâo Tomé
Serbia
2015
Slovakia
2015
Slovenia
2015
Spain
2015
Sweden
2015
Switzerland
2015
Syria
2015
Taiwan
2015
Tajikistan
2015
Turkey
2015
Turkmenistan
2015
Ukraine
2015
United Kingdom
2015
United States
2015
Uzbekistan
2015

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No