Mustela nivalis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Weasel


Our smallest carnivore, the Weasel looks like a mini version of the Stoat. Weasels are very active hunters, feeding on small mammals such as voles and mice, as well as small birds. They are found in a variety of habitats: woodland, grassland, hedgerows, heathland and moorland. Weasels mate in spring and summer, having two litters of three to six kits a year.

How to identify

Orangey-brown back with a white throat and belly. Smaller than a Stoat, with a relatively shorter tail with no black tip.

Where to find it

Found throughout England, Wales and Scotland, but absent from Northern Ireland and most islands.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Weasels are not considered to be rare in the UK, but the habitats that they favour are declining - our grasslands, heathlands and woodlands are all under threat. Encouraging farmers, landowners and gardeners alike to have a wildlife-friendly approach, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a Living Landscape: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Mustela nivalis
Length: 23cm plus a tail of 6cm Weight: up to 130g Average lifespan: 3 years
Conservation status
Common but may be declining.