Saturday, 15 August 2015

Polecat road casualty - Rowsley

Another record from Ken, this time of a dead Polecat found as a road casualty on the Chatsworth Road leading out of Rowsley. 
According to The Mammals of Derbyshire the Polecat became extinct in Derbyshire at the beginning of the 20th century but was recorded again in the late 1980's and sightings have increased since then to around 20 per year. It's not clear how many are pure Polecat and how many are Polecat - Ferret hybrids and it's possible that this record could be of a hybrid. Some records may also refer to feral Mink but the colouration of this individual looks like Polecat.
Simon Roddis has previously reported a sighting of Polecat or Polecat-ferret in Darley Dale but I'm not aware of any other local records.
Rabbits are generally the main prey item but we have noticed a significant decline in the number of Water Vole from the Rowsley area recently, so its possible that Polecat in the area could be a factor.
Polecat road casualty (c.Ken Smith)

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