Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weaseling Around

We caught the culprit!  After 8 chickens down, boarding up the coop to no avail, and bringing the chickens indoors for a few days (into the unfinished sunroom), we will finally have chicken peace at the Basecamp at least for a while.  This weasel was live trapped in the coop and relocated to another section of the valley, over 8 miles from Mazama, and far from chickens and human settlement.  We hope she likes her new home. 

We determined this animal to be a female long-tailed weasel.  She was shockingly small for all the damage she had done.  Our rough measurements of her in the trap were, body 20cm long, tail 10cm, total length 30cm.

The differences we learned about long tailed weasels and a short tailed weasels are:
*Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) tail is about half the length of their body or longer (44-70%).  Their total length is between 28-42 cm. 
*Short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea) tail is about a third (30-45%) of its body length.  Their total length is between 19-34 cm.  Females are smaller than males for both species due to sexual dimorphism; some overlap exists between male short-tailed and female long-tailed weasels. 

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