Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

The Egyptian weasel is a small, cylindrical weasel. Head small and triangular. Snout small, broad and pointed. Hair short and dense, chestnut to dark brown in the upperparts and creamy to white in the underparts. Ears small and rounded. Tail long, thin with heavy short hair. Hind limbs longer than forelimbs, each ending in 5 white digits with strong claws.

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Distribution

Range Description

Confined to the lower Nile Valley of Egypt, between Beni Suef in the south and Alexandria and the Delta in the north (Handwerk 1993, McDonald in press).
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Distribution in Egypt

Narrow (mainly northern Nile Valley and Delta).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 23-30 cm. Weight: 220 gm.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Commensal with humans, and often trapped in human habitations, including underground larders and even in cars (McDonald in press).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The Egyptian weasel almost completely commensal with man. Found in homes, buildings, agricultural areas and sometimes desert.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

Nocturnal mammal, spending day in underground holes or crevices. Feeds on small mammals (rodents, hares), birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects (espe­cially red ants and bugs). Territorial and solitary species. Egyptian weasel female gives birth to litters of two to five young once or twice per year after a gestation period of 37 days and reaches sexual maturity after 4-8 months.

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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
McDonald, R. & Hoffmann, M.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern as although it has a restricted distribution in the Nile Delta of Egypt (though not believed small enough to meet the threshold for the B criterion), the species is common and adaptable, commensal with humans, and there are currently no known major threats.

History
  • 2003
    Not Evaluated
    (IUCN 2003)
  • 2003
    Not Evaluated
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Status in Egypt

Native, resident.

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Population

Population
Common to abundant; densities of 0.5–1.0/ha have been estimated from trapping (Handwerk 1993). Opportunistic feeders.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known major threats to the species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is a human commensal, and no conservation measures apparently are currently needed.
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Wikipedia

Egyptian weasel

The Egyptian weasel (Mustela subpalmata) is a species of weasel that lives in northern Egypt. It is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List.

Description[edit]

Egyptian weasel skull

The Egyptian weasel has short legs, a small head, and small ears. Its tail is long and thin. The weasel has a broad snout. The upper part of the body is brown and the lower part is cream-colored.

Sizes for the Egyptian Weasels are:[2] -Male head-body length: 36.1–43 cm -Female head-body length: 32.6–39 cm -Male tail length: 10.9-12.9 cm -Female tail length: 9.4–11 cm -Male weight: 60-130g -Female weight: 45-60g.

The Egyptian weasel is so similar to the least weasel (Mustela nivalis) that it was only discovered to be a separate species as recently as 1992.

The Egyptian weasel lives in the same places as humans, including cities and villages. It is mostly nocturnal. The female Egyptian weasel can have up to three litters a year. She gives birth to four to nine kits at a time.

Diet: The Egyptian Weasel is a carnivore, but it eats other creatures as well. they mostly eat mice, rats, and lizards; but when food is scarce they even eat insects.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDonald, R. & Hoffmann, M. (2008). Mustela subpalmata. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ "Egyptian Weasel (Mustela Subpalmata)". 
  3. ^ "Cairo is a Weasel's playpen by night". 
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