Polecat (Mustela putorius)

The Polecat or Foulmart, to use its apt old country name (which I much prefer), is one of our resident mustelids. One hardly need guess how it came by the name, especially if you have ever had to handle one! Not quite a Skunk but a close second. They vary in size from about 40cm (nose to tail base) for a female or Jill, to around 50 to 60cm (nose to tail base) for a male or Hob.
As with most mustelids the Polecat is a highly efficient predator and a rabbit specialist (they are after all the precursor to the domestic ferret, with which they happily interbreed), but they are by no means limited to bunnies, as any gamekeeper or poultry farmer who has them nearby will attest. They will also take any ground nesting birds, their eggs or chicks, along with voles, water voles, mice, snakes, frogs, fish and will tackle larger prey if they need to. They seem to be on the increase again these days after being eliminated from many areas. It is doubtful that they have any regular natural predators as, like the mink, they are very capable adversaries and few animals would tangle with one twice.
This Polecat was found dead, having been run over, we cannot be sure if it is a 100% pure Polecat, but this is never simple to know even for an expert in the field. I did look it up and feel reasonably sure this one is a Polecat.

There is more information on Polecats and many other British mammals on the following link at the Vincent Wildife Trust:


Polecat taxidermy

This Polecat is mounted on a fairly simple base, presented as a full mount climbing on a small wooden log and looking away to its right. We did this chap the traditional way with wood wool rather than a commercial form.

This mount consists of the following components:

  • Full mount Polecat.
  • Basic habitat base.