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.


3 Comments Comments icon

  1. Bob
    August 18, 2016 at 01:45

    We saw a pair of these weasels playing on the rocks just outside the dining tent at Vogelsang on August 16, 2016. Given that their preferred prey is live mice, they should be very useful in minimizing the spread of hantavirus in the park. Hope the NPS is encouraging them to breed at Vogelsang!

  2. November 14, 2014 at 02:45

    I had an awesome time there!

  3. November 10, 2014 at 04:11

    I like weasels!

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Last updated: September 16, 2012

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