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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in "Myanmar, China (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi), India, Lao, Thailand, and Viet Nam" (Wilson and Reeder 2005; Zhang 1997). There are also two old specimens catalogued as from ‘Nepal’, but they probably did not come from within the boundaries of the modern country (Hinton and Fry 1923) and the species has not been found in Bhutan (Yonzon pers. comm.), which lies between Nepal and the species' known range. The occurrence of M. strigidorsa has been confirmed from scattered localities in and around northeastern India, northern and central Myanmar, southern China, northern Thailand, northern and central Lao and Viet Nam (Abramov et al. 2008). This species has a wide altitudinal range of almost sea-level to 2,500 m (Abramov et al. 2008). In Lao PDR, this species was historically found only at Phongsali (Delacour 1940), however, there are recent records from all but a couple of the remaining blocks of hill semi- and evergreen forest which have had biodiversity surveys exceeding a few weeks (Duckworth et al. 1999, Tizard 2003, Abramov et al. 2008). In India, it has been recorded from Dampa in 1994, and in Namdapha Reserve (Datta 1999). It has been recorded from Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (PKWS) and various other sites recently in Thailand (Grassman et al. 2002, Abramov et al. 2008).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The stripe-backed weasel probably lives mainly in evergreen forests in hills and mountains, but has been recorded from other biotopes including dense scrub, secondary forest, grassland and farmland (Abramov et al., 2008). Most records come from in or near larger extents of high elevation (1,000 m+) terrain. It sometimes occurs well below 1,000 m in such areas (down almost to sea-level in Viet Nam), but there are no records, except in Viet Nam, from at lower elevations in areas away from high altitude terrain (Abramov et al. 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Duckworth, J.W., Yonzon, P., Abramov, A. & Timmons, R.J.

Reviewer/s
Belant, J. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, apparent tolerance to some degree of habitat modification and hunting pressure, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Insufficiently Known
    (Groombridge 1994)
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Population

Population
In view of limited survey effort, the number of recent records indicates that the species is less rare than previously believed (Grassman et al. 2002, Abramov et al. 2008). Globally, there are several dozen historical specimens, their number significantly under-estimated in various 1960s-1990s texts thereby giving a misleading impression of rarity.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Although usually perceived as a species under threat, there is no real evidence that it is. However, the habitat requirements of tropical Mustela populations remain effectively unknown, and it may be rash to extrapolate from primarily Holarctic information. About 3,000 to 4,000 pelts were harvested annually in China in the 1970s, with 50 skins were purchased in Nanning, Guangxi, in 1973 (Sheng Helin, 1998). The skins/dried corpses of M. strigidorsa were seen “2-5 times” (the middle class of frequency) in a survey of wildlife trade along the Yunnan-Viet Nam border in June-August 1997; the source was said to be Yunnan (Li and Wang, 1999). Outside China, the species is sold at least occasionally in Lao PDR (Hansel and Tizard, 2006) and Viet Nam. Even though this weasel is not known to have high economic value, hunting or harvesting for trade could still drive declines because many harvest methods (notably snares) are non-selective. As remaining natural habitats are yet further encroached, the proportion of the species’ occupied area in which it faces such threats will increase. However, the number of records from areas with already high hunting pressure indicate a resilience to such activities (Abramov et al. 2008).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed as Endangered on the China Red List (Wang and Xie, 2004). It is protected in Thailand. It is not a targeted species, as it is small and not sought for use for food or medicine, though it is utilized if unintentionally captured (Abramov et al. 2008). It has been recorded in scattered protected areas across its range and likely occurs in many more unsampled parks and reserves (Abramov et al. 2008). More field research would help determine the status, distribution, and conservation of this species (Grassman et al, 2002).
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Wikipedia

Back-striped weasel

The back-striped weasel (Mustela strigidorsa), also called the stripe-backed weasel, is a weasel found in Southeastern Asia that is listed as Least Concern by IUCN in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, apparent tolerance to some degree of habitat modification and hunting pressure.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

The back-striped weasel is distinguished from all other Mustela species by the presence of a narrow, silvery dorsal streak extending from the occiput almost to the root of the tail, with a corresponding yellowish ventral streak from the chest along the abdomen. The general colour of the dorsal surface varies from deep to paler chocolate brown, sometimes a little paler on the head and usually slightly darkened along the side of the dorsal streak. The tail and limbs are of the same hue as the back. The upper lip from the rhinarium, the chin and the throat up to the level of the ears are pale varying from whitish to ochreous. On the hind throat and fore chest, the pale hue gradually narrows in extent, and is quite narrow between the forelegs, where it passes into the ventral streak, which expands on the inguinal region between thighs. The pads of the feet are well developed, the plantar ads being four-lobed, with the area around them entirely naked.[3]

The bushy tail is rather long, being more than half the length of the head and body. The length of head and body of males is 30–36 cm (12–14 in), while the tail length is 18–20 cm (7.1–7.9 in).[4] A live-captured juvenile male was estimated to weigh only 700 g (1.5 lb).[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The occurrence of the stripe-backed weasel has been confirmed from scattered localities in and around northeastern India, northern and central Myanmar, southern China, northern Thailand, northern and central Laos and Vietnam at an altitude range from sea level to 2,500 m (8,200 ft).[4] In India, it has been recorded from Dampa in 1994, and in Namdapha National Park.[6]

Ecology and behavior[edit]

Little has been recorded of this weasel's habitats and habits. It has been found in a wide variety of habitats, and it is not yet possible to define its habitat needs. Specimens collected came from dense hill jungle, hill evergreen forest, disturbed evergreen forest, lower montane evergreen forest and lowland evergreen forest. Most field sightings were in daylight.[4]

In the Naga Hills, one was seen fighting with a large bandicoot rat.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grubb, P. (16 November 2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Duckworth, J. W., Yonzon, P., Abramov, A. and Timmons, R. J. (2008). "Mustela strigidorsa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ a b Pocock, R. I. (1941). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia Vol. II. Carnivora (suborders Aeluroidae (part) and Arctoidae). Taylor and Francis, Ltd., London.
  4. ^ a b c Abramov, A. V., Duckworth, J. W., Wang, Y. and Roberton, S. I. (2008). The stripe-backed weasel Mustela strigidorsa: taxonomy, ecology, distribution and status. Mammal Review 48: 247–266.
  5. ^ Grassman, L. I., Kreetiyutanont, K. and Tewes, M. E. (2002). The Back-striped weasel Mustela strigidorsa Gray, 1853 in northeastern Thailand. Small Carnivore Conservation 26: 2.
  6. ^ Datta, A. (1999). Small Carnivores in two Protected Areas of Arunachal Pradesh. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 96: 399–404.
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