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Wildlife and Other Sightings: Long-tailed weasel

September 15, 2012 Posted by: KB - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger
Long-tailed Weasel
Mustela frenata

A solitary long-tailed weasel was seen on the trail at Lyell Canyon about five miles in from the Tioga Road. Long-tailed weasels are somewhat commonly seen throughout the Sierra Nevada and most parts of the United States, South America, Mexico and some portions of Canada. They inhabit a variety of terrain including farmland, woodlands, and thickets. They den in ground burrows, under stumps or beneath rock piles and usually stick to themselves, except during mating season. Being resourceful creatures, they rarely dig their own burrows, but commonly use abandoned chipmunk holes. The long-tailed weasel is a fearless and aggressive hunter which may attack animals far larger than itself. If you stay quiet and look closely, you're more likely to find this little carnivore - often near a water source.

 


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Did You Know?

Low intensity fire in Yosemite

Natural fires in Yosemite are often no more than a single burning snag (standing dead tree) or a slow moving, low intensity fire that cleans underbrush from the forest floor. These fires prevent unwanted fires by removing accumulating forest debris that can fuel a larger fire in hot, dry conditions.