Food Habits of Ermine, Mustela erminea, in a Forested Landscape

Mark A. Edwards, Graham J. Forbes
2003 Canadian field-naturalist  
Most research pertaining to the diet of North American weasels has been conducted in agricultural areas and may not be representative of diets in forested regions. Ermine carcasses (N = 155) collected from trappers during a two-week harvest (16-30 November 1996) in forested New Brunswick were analyzed for food habits. The contents of 81 stomachs and 98 gastrointestinal tracts (N = 179) were considered as separate eating events and used in the calculation of the percent frequency of occurrence.
more » ... esults suggest that soricids (28.0%), arvicolines (24.6%), and cricetines (17.3%) comprised two-thirds of their autumn diet. At a species or genus level, the Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) (17.3%) and shrews (Sorex spp.) (28.0%) were shown to have the highest percent occurrence. Squirrels, including the Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamius striatus), comprised 11.2% of the Ermine's diet; a value higher than has previously been reported.
doi:10.22621/cfn.v117i2.703 fatcat:l5f2u6eu35bs7k3nnpyg3p5kna