Ferret - Mustela putorius subsp. furo

    Alt Name
    European Ferret and as Feral Ferret

    Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators with males being substantially larger than females. Nose pink, thin white band below face mask and tip of nose. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur - white patches indicate ferret or a hybrid. They have an average length of 20 inches including a 5 inch tail, and weigh about 1.5 to 4 pounds.

    Identification difficulty

    They are wanderers and move about in search of prey, they will typically be located where their prey is abundant, but may be out competed by larger predators.

    When to see it

    Unlikely to be seen during the daytime, they are carnivores and hunt prey such as rabbits around dawn and dusk.

    Life History

    They have a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Ferrets are crepuscular, which means they spend 14 to18 hours a day asleep and are most active around the hours of dawn and dusk.

    UK Status

    Widespread records of feral animals throughout Britain, probably mostly domestic animals that have escaped into the wild. There is an established colony on the Shetland Isles where there is no competition from other predators.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional records in Leicestershire and Rutland, presumably from escaped domestic stock.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map