what is this mammal?

10 Comments
  1. Profile photo of tomeslice
    tomeslice 10 months ago

    Where in the States was this taken?
    The first things that pop to my mind are a squirrel or a marten

  2. Venkat Sankar 10 months ago

    Elevation seems too low for marten; it was taken at night, so I also doubt it’s a squirrel. Looks too large for weasel, so maybe a young Gray Fox? Might conceivably also be a Ringtail, but the tail should be more obvious on one of those. Honestly, I’m not really sure…

  3. Profile photo of liometopum Author
    liometopum 10 months ago

    The photo is from near Mokelumne Hill, in Calaveras County, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This is a heavily (mixed) forested and brush area, intermediate in elevation.

    Taken at night. Note the eyes glow, so it cannot be a squirrel. See http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96414364

    I think it’s a predator. The feet look cat-like. It has tiny ears, unlike a gray fox (I feed a wild one every night, so I am very familiar with them).

  4. Mike Richardson 10 months ago

    I would say it’s definitely a mustelid of some kind. Long-tailed Weasel?

  5. Robert Foster 10 months ago

    I think you mean American marten. Purple martin is a bird. I have quite a number of images of American martens on my trail cameras here in Canada and your image is pretty consistent with a marten.

    • Profile photo of liometopum Author
      liometopum 10 months ago

      I messed that up badly!!
      But I am still not sure if it is a marten or a weasel. How would you tell the difference?

  6. John Van Niel 10 months ago

    I am going to pile on the mustered band wagon as well

    • John Van Niel 10 months ago

      Mustelid…. Sorry I didn’t notice the autocorrect

  7. Profile photo of liometopum Author
    liometopum 10 months ago

    I sent the video link to John Buckley, who operates a Sierra Nevada conservation group called CSERC. They use lots of wildlife cameras in the area, and he thinks it is almost certain to be a weasel, based on shape, size, speed, and behavior when having its photo taken by a game camera.

  8. Profile photo of Jon Hall
    Jon Hall 9 months ago

    I am weighing in late on this, but I would say a LT Weasel too .. the paler belly looks more like a weasel than a marten to me.

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