Steppe ferret (or steppe ferret, as well as light, (latch. Mustela Eversmanni)) is a rather large representative of a kind. Many owners of gardens and farms consider it a pest, since it can often be found for the ruin of shrubs and rabbits of rabbit. However, they also play a positive role in the ecosystem, by regulating rodents in the fields. It is also noteworthy that the steppe ferrets amenable to tame. However, some subspecies are in the Red Book.
An adult steppe ferret can reach 60 centimeters of body length with a weight of up to 2 kilograms. Males are mostly larger than females. The body of the animals is covered with long hair of not strong density. There is a light undercoat under the wool. The skin of the steppe chori is of great value, since it is used to create fur coats.
The color of the wool is dark at the ends and light closer to the body. The muzzle has a dark mask, which is considered a distinctive feature for ferrets of this species. The color of the paws, tail and abdomen is mostly dark or black. There are completely white representatives who do not develop melanin in the body. The appearance may change depending on the environment.
Steppe ferrets spread on the territory of Western, Eastern and Central Europe. Are found in some regions of Asia. Most steppe ferrets live in countries such as Austria, Ukraine, Russia, China, Mongolia and the Czech Republic. Open areas are chosen as a habitat, avoiding forests. Often it can be found in the steppes, pastures and edges of the forest.
Food and lifestyle
Steppe ferrets are night animals, so hunting begins with the onset of darkness. Due to its structure, the steppe ferrets have a short intestine and rapid metabolism. After active night hunting, they spend the day in burrows. These animals can sleep about 18 hours, and the rest of the time devote food, bypasses of the territory and the organization of stocks.
The main diet consists of hamsters, rats, amphibians, birds and invertebrates. They can eat snakes, but they hunt them with extremely carefully, because they do not have resistance to poisons.
The lifestyle of the steppe ferrets is mainly single. Couples form only at the time of propagation. In the same period, an active search for shelter begins. Steppe chori organize nests in the burrows of victims and abandoned nests of large rodents. Extremely rarely they dig nests on their own. The bottom of the nests is lined with fluff, grass and feathers. It is characteristic of males to enter into fights for the female. During this period, they make loud sounds.
The period of pregnancy lasts about a month and a half. Up to 10 cubs are born. They are born completely defenseless. Sighted only by a month of life.
The female feeds them milk for 2.5 months. Leaves them only after they are growing constant wool. At the age of 8 weeks, small steppe ferrets are already learning to get their own food. The female is always nearby to protect them from a possible danger.
The male participates in the process of growing cubs. The steppe ferrets become sexually mature.