In the first half of 2017 six weasels were submitted to the DWHC for post-mortem exam. All six animals died of trauma. Skin perforations suggestive of predation were seen in three cases, two of which also had pneumonia. It is possible that this illness had weakened the weasels thereby making them more vulnerable to predation. The round worm Skrjabingylus nasicola was only found in one weasel. This parasite was also found in two polecats that were examined by the DWHC in 2017. Both animals had been run over and it is possible that the parasitic pneumonia had contributed to the risk of trauma.
In order to get a better idea about the distribution and common causes of death in small mustelids, the Dutch Mammal Society and the DWHC are calling on members of the public to report sightings of these animals (live and dead). Live animal sightings can be reported on www.telmee.nl of www.waarneming.nl. If you find a fresh carcase please keep it in a cool place (do not freeze it) and report it to the DWHC via the DWHC Submission form. We will contact you to discus whether or not the animal can be collected for further testing.
Click here for background information about these species.
Stoat photo banner: Dick Pasman