DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThis species is found in "Myanmar, southern and eastern China, the Indochinese peninsula, and Nepal" (Wozencraft, 2005) and in addition northern Thailand, India and Bhutan (Pocock 1941, Duckworth and Robichaud 2005, P. Yonzon pers. comm.). Corbet and Hill (1992) report a lower altitudinal limit of 1,000 m. In the Himalayas, this species is found between the altitude of 1,800 and 4,000 m (http://www.wii.gov.in/envis/envisdec99/yellowweasel.htm). In Bhutan to 3,800 m (Yonzon pers. comm.). In India found as low as 1,000 m (Choudhury pers. comm.). In Hong Kong, it is found from close to sea-level to over 200 m (Lau pers. comm. 2006). In Western Himalaya from 3,000-5,200 m in the cold deserts (Muddapa pers. comm.).
This species is little known in Lao PDR, where one recent sighting was in Fokienia forest at about 1,500 m in Nam Xam National Biodiversity Conservation Area (within 20°02' to 14' N and 104° 18' to 53' E) in January 1998 (Showler et al. 1998), though historical records came from Xiangkhouang town (19° 20' N and 103° 22' E) in 1926, Phongsaly town in 1929 (Osgood 1932, Delacour 1940), and the Bolaven Plateau (within 14° 42' to 15° 30' N and 106° 15' to 50' E) at about 1,200 to 1,400 m in 1932 (Tizard 2002, Legendre 1932). In 2004 and 2005 it was recorded in Phongsaly, the northernmost province in Lao, on Phou Fa (=Fa mountain, 21° 41' N and 102° 06' E, 1,550 m) and close to Ban Bakong (=Bakong village, 21° 37' N 102° 05' E, 1,200 m) (Duckworth and Robichaud 2005).
Historically, most of the records of this species in Southeast Asia come from the northern highlands of Viet Nam, though there are two recent records to the south, in the Annamite mountains of central Viet Nam (Duckworth and Robichaud, 2005), one was recorded in primary evergreen forest at 1,000 m in A Vuong proposed Nature Reserve, Tay Giang district, Quang Nam Province (16° 00' N and 107° 30' E) in 2003 (Long et al, 2004) and another in the Ngoc Linh highlands at about 15 degree N latitude in the late 1990s (J. C. Eames in litt. 1999). It may yet be found to extend even farther south in Indochina (Duckworth and Robichaud, 2005). In Thailand, there are no historical records, though it apparently occurs in the northern highlands (Duckworth and Robichaud, 2005), as Vikorn (2001) reported a roadkill specimen of Mustela nivalis from Doi Pha Luang station, which Duckworth later determined was Mustela katiah. (and not M. nivalis as it was previously identified). There are multiple skins of this species from Myanmar, all collected in the north (Pocock, 1941: 359, Than Zaw et al. in press.).