So shooting a polecat is lawful, and in some emergency situations (e.g. to protect poultry or pets) this is an available option that does not require any special licence. Deliberate use of traps to target a polecat would always require a licence from Natural England.
Are polecats protected UK?
Conservation Status: In addition to its protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the polecat has recently (2007) been added to the list of UK BAP mammals, protected as species of principal importance for the conservation of biological diversity in England under Section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of …
Is the polecat protected?
“Polecats are legally protected, so that has resulted in a real reduction in trapping and killing, so polecats have been able to recover and spread across the country once more.” In Scotland, however, polecats are mating with their domestic cousins – ferrets – and many animals there are now hybrids.
Are polecats endangered?
So where does this term come from? In reality, a polecat isn’t a skunk, but a wild ferret native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. Polecats emit a musky odor when threatened, though it’s not quite as strong as they of a skunk.
Are polecats common in UK?
The polecat (Mustela putorius) is of considerable conservation significance in Britain. … There are polecats present in north-west England and parts of Scotland originating from reintroductions. The polecat’s conservation status in Britain is much more favourable today than it was a hundred years ago.
What do polecats eat UK?
Wild rabbits are a most important food, comprising 85% of the diet of polecats in the English midlands. Most rabbits are killed underground in their burrows, where polecats prefer to rest during daylight. Other prey includes rats, small mammals, amphibians, birds and earthworms.
Does the UK have wild cats?
The European wildcat is Britain’s rarest mammal and the only native cat species surviving in Britain. … The furry animals are the only native cat species surviving in Britain, with a small population still roaming the Scottish Highlands.
Are polecats friendly?
Polecats always prefer to live anti-social lives. They only meet the other polecats when they want to mate. 6. Domestic ferrets are comfortable with humans as well as the other ferrets.
How long do wild polecats live?
A member of the mustelid family, which includes the stoat and badger, the polecat is roughly the size of a ferret – its domesticated cousin. Brought to the brink of extinction through persecution, the polecat has been undergoing a recovery recently and can be found in rural Wales and parts of England.
Do polecats eat rats?
By 1915 the largest population of polecats was left in central Wales. … This is because polecats eat rats, particularly in the winter, and rats are routinely controlled using a range of rodenticides.
Are ferrets and polecats the same?
Polecats and ferrets interbreed to produce fertile offspring. The polecat is the ancestor of the domestic ferret but exactly where and when ferrets were domesticated is still uncertain. Given their close relationship, it is not surprising that it may be very difficult to distinguish them in the field.
Why is it called a pole cat?
The name transferred with European settlement. It is an old French word meaning chicken- “poule.” So in essence, polecat means “the cat that eats chickens.” The word “skunk” comes from the Algonquin name, as does other common American animals like moose and opossum.
Where did polecat come from?
The European polecat (Mustela putorius) is a species of mustelid native to western Eurasia and North Africa. It is of a generally dark brown colour, with a pale underbelly and a dark mask across the face.