Polecat

The European Polecat (Mustela putorius), also known as a fitch, foumart, or foulmart, is a member of the Mustelidae family, and is related to the stoats, otters, and minks. European Polecat is the wild ancestor of the domesticated ferret.

Polecats are found throughout Europe. They are mainly nocturnal and are found in woodlands, farmlands and wetlands. They often make dens in stream banks or under tree roots. Almost entirely carnivorous, they feed largely on small mammals such as voles and rats and, seasonally, on frogs and toads. Small birds and insects are a much smaller component of their diet. They require a home range of about a square kilometre. The pattern of polecat predation on frogs was found to be sex selective and predation by polecats is found to influence sex ratio, male abundance and sexual conflict in a frog mating system, restricting the opportunity for multiple mating.