Although this mammal was thought to have disappeared from the state around 1900 due to loss of forest habitat, two specimens have been collected in the latter half of the century. The Pennsylvania Biological Survey classifies its status as undetermined at present.
Fisher (Pekania pennanti)
This animal recently has been reintroduced in Pennsylvania. Tracking of the released individuals indicates that the fisher are doing well.
Ermine or Short-tailed Weasel (Mustela erminea)
In summer, the ermine is dark brown above and white washed with yellow below. In the winter, it turns completely white except for a black tip on the tail.
Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)
Several sources indicate that weasels have a reputation for killing more than they can eat at a given time. This is probably a mistaken impression from observations of weasels moving a kill to its den. However, the animal may move a carcass to its burrow to feed the young or to cache for future meals.
Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis)
This is the smallest carnivore in Pennsylvania with a total length of only eight inches and weight of only two ounces!
Mink (Neovison vison)
Like the skunk and other mustelids, the mink possesses anal scent glands that produce a pungent odor when the animal is stressed.
Badger (Taxidea taxus)
Since 1946, there are four records of the badger in Pennsylvania, all in counties of southwestern Pennsylvania adjacent to more uniformly suitable habitat in Ohio.
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
Valued for its fur, the skunk is also an important predator of rodents and insects.
Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius)
This relative of the striped skunk is known to occur only in Fulton and Bedford counties in south-central Pennsylvania. It is the smallest skunk, averaging only 1-3 lbs. As with the striped skunk, the patterns of black and white vary greatly among individuals.
River Otter (Lontra canadensis)
This animal is well adapted for aquatic life with a streamlined body, thick coat and oily underfur, webbed feet, a muscular, rudder-like tail, ears and nose that can be closed when submerged, and strategic placement of the eyes.