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Mustela sibirica

Basic information
Scientific name Mustela sibirica (No picture)
Common names Siberian weasel
Higher taxon Mustelidae, Carnivora, Mammalia
Natural range Western side of Ural Mountains to Siberia, Mongolia, continental China, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, and Tsushima, Japan, except for Gobi and Takla Makan Deserts.
Habitat Montane to lowland including around human habitat. Lowland may be more preferable habitat.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Fukui, Gifu, Aichi Prefs. to western Japan except Ryukyus. Two small islands, Aoshima Is., Fukuoka Pref. and Sagi Is., Miyazaki Pref. There is a past record in western Shizuoka Pref. Range in Japan
Origin Korean Peninsula
Date Around 1920-1930, introduced in Hyogo and Fukuoka Pref. In Fukuoka, this species might be introduced by hitchhiking on ship cargo in confusing period after W.W.II. The spread of this species occurred after W.W.II in Kyushu. Introduction to Sagi Is. and Aoshima Is. were in 1958 and 1966, respectively.
Route Deliberate: Release of cultivated weasels for fur production. Introduced for biological control of rat in Sagishima Is. of Miyazaki Pref. and Aoshima Is. of Nagasaki Is.
Impact Actually: Competition with native weasels (Recent studies suggested urbanization reduces the native species and after give rise to spread of this species, rather than competition). Damage on agriculture. Intrusion on houses.
Potentially: Predation on small vertebrates. Carrying parasites (Gnathostoma nipponicum, Paragoninus ohirai, P. miyazakii, etc.).
Native organism(s) affected: Mustela itatsi (competition), small mammmals, birds, reptiles and amphibians (predation)
Regulation in Japan No action for prevention, mitigation, control, or eradication.
Introduced range in other countries None.
Reference Notes
  • Abe (ed) (1994) A Guide to Mammals of Japan. Tokai Univ. Press, Hatano (in Jpn)
  • Ecol Soc Jpn (ed) (2002) Handbook of Alien Species in Japan. Chijinshokan, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Hiraiwa et al. (1959) Damages of agricultural products caused by the Norway rat in Sagi-shima, a delta of Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture II. Rat control with special reference to the introduction of the Korean weasel as a natural enemy against rats. Sci Bull Fac Agr, Kyushu Univ. 17(3), 335-349 (in Jpn with English abst)
  • Kawamichi (ed) (1996) The Encyclopedia of Animals in Japan 1 Mammals I. Heibonsha, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Nakamura (1988) Alien Animals of Japan. Kanagawa Pref. Mus., Yokohama (in Jpn)
  • Ohdachi et al. (eds) (2009) The Wild Mammals of Japan. Shokado, Kyoto.
  • Shiraishi (1982) The weasel as a rat-control agent. Collecting and Breeding. 44(9), 414-419 (in Jpn)
  • Yamada et al. (eds) (2011) Invasive Alien Mammals in Japan: Biology of Control Strategy and Conservation. Univ. Tokyo Press (in Jpn)
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