Adapted to a wide variety of habitats ranging from forest to tundra and from sea to above treeline. Favor early- successional or forest ecotonal boundaries near wet meadows, marshes, ditches, riparian woodlands, shrubby stream banks, lakeshores, and beaver ponds near rock talus, shrub thickets, stumps, and logs for cover (Simms 1979a, Simms 1979b, King 1983, MacDonald and Cook 2009). Also prefers wooded areas with thick understory near watercourses (Simms 1979a, Simms 1979b, King 1983). Coastal ermine may exhibit a preference for low elevation riparian and marine shoreline and estuarine habitats (Reid et al. 2000). Well-adapted to snowy environments and range into alpine areas (Fagerstone 1987) and also successfully inhabit tundra habitats throughout northern Canada and Alaska.
Fagerstone, K.A. 1987. Black-footed ferret, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, and least weasel. Pp. 548-573 in: Novak, M., J.A. Baker, M.E. Obbard, and B. Malloch (Eds.). Wild furbearer management and conservation in North America. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ottawa, ONT. 1150 pp.
King, C.M. 1983. Mustela erminea. Am. Soc. Mamm., Mammalian Species No. 195. 8 pp.
MacDonald, S. O. and J. A. Cook. 2009. Recent Mammals of Alaska. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, AK.
￼￼Reid, D.G., L. Waterhouse, P.E.F. Buck, A.E. Derocher, R. Bettner, C.D. French, and C. Husband. 1999. Status and management of ermine on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Forest Research Extension Note EN-001, Vancouver Forest Region, BCMOF, Nanaimo, B.C.
Simms, D.A. 1979a. Studies of an ermine population in southern Ontario. Can. J. Zool. 57:824-832.
Simms, D.A. 1979b. North American weasels: resource utilization and distribution. Canadian Journal of Zoology 57:504-520.