This long and slender animal is a speedy, fierce little hunter and is aggressively territorial, and is particularly deft at climbing trees. The stoat is identifiable not only from its slim body, but the warm reddish brown fur, white underside and the long tail with a black tip.
The stoat is not threatened, although there is no legal protection in the UK.
Lack of available prey is probably the main cause of death for young stoats for which mortality is high. Other predators include owls, hawks or larger carnivores such as the fox and particularly the domestic cat.
There is little competition for food between stoats and weasels. The stoat is much more aggressive and can handle larger prey, but the weasel is an excellent 'tunnel-hunter', reaching small rodents which the stoat cannot.