what is this mammal?

On this video, compiled from stills taken by a wildlife camera, at 3:02, I have one frame of something jumping across the camera.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOQBrTc7nl4

What do you think it is?


  • tomeslice

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

  • Venkat Sankar

    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…

  • liometopum

    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).

  • Mike Richardson

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

  • Robert Foster

    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.

    • liometopum

      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?

  • John Van Niel

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

  • liometopum

    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.

  • Jon Hall

    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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