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Mustela lutreolina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela lutreolina
Species Authority: Robinson & Thomas, 1917
Common Name(s):
English Indonesian Mountain Weasel
Taxonomic Notes: The species is considered to be closely related to Siberian Weasel Mustela sibirica (van Bree and Boeadi 1978, Abramov 2000). Some historical records refer to the species as Mustela sibirica lutreolina.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W., Holden, J., Eaton, J., Meijaard, E., Long, B. & Abramov, A.V.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): McCarthy, J.
Indonesian Mountain Weasel is listed as Least Concern, because, although it is known from few records, suitable habitat remains widespread, under limited threat, and is extensively included within protected areas. Hunting in these areas is insufficient to be driving declines sufficient for categorisation even as Near Threatened. It is considered unlikely that any idiosyncrasy of its natural history could make it vulnerable to an unusual threat, but as long as its basic natural history remains unknown, this remains a slight possibility.
Previously published Red List assessments:
  • 2008 – Data Deficient (DD)
  • 1996 – Endangered (EN)
  • 1994 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1990 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1988 – Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Indonesian Mountain Weasel is known only from the highlands of Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. It occurs on Java in the west and as far east as the Ijang plateau (van Bree and Boeadi 1978, Meri et al. 2007). On Sumatra, it occurs from Bengkulu province in the south, north through Gunung [= Mount] Dempo and Gunung Kerinci in Kerinci Seblat National Park, to Gunung Leuser National Park in the island's far north (Sody 1949, Lunde and Musser 2003, Holden 2006, Meiri et al. 2007, Eaton 2009, Pusparini and Sibarani 2014). All the few records come from between 1,400 and 3,000 m (Meiri et al. 2007, Eaton 2009, Pusparini and Sibarani 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Jawa, Sumatera)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Lower elevation limit (metres):1400
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known about this species’s abundance. It is known from only about 20 records (van Bree and Boeadi 1978, Lunde and Musser 2003, Holden 2006, Meiri et al. 2007, Eaton 2009, Pusparini and Sibarani 2014). This paucity of records has been taken in the past to suggest rarity, but there is no need to invoke any explanation other than the low relevant survey effort in the altitudes at which it occurs, assuming that, like other South-east Asian weasels, it is only rarely camera-trapped even where present (Pusparini and Sibarani 2014). Its population is inferred to be broadly stable because its altitudinal zone of occurrence (1,400 m up) is above the levels at which Sumatran forest is being rapidly converted (see, e.g., Gaveau et al. 2007). Similarly, there is presently little forest lost at these altitudes in Java either.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Indonesian Mountain Weasel has been recorded only in highlands, at 1,400-3,000 m a.s.l. (Meiri et al. 2007, Pusparini and Sibarani 2014), within which its habitat use is unclear. Search effort has been enough to be confident that it is not common below this altitude, if it occurs down there at all; but its true upper limit remains unknown. Most records come from forest - but this might signify nothing more than the preponderance of high-altitude survey in forest rather than other habitats. One sighting, at 3,000 m, was in in scrub above the forest line (Holden 2006). All of the few direct sightings and camera-trap records were by day, suggesting it is diurnal, in keeping with other South-east Asian weasels.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):4.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is implausible that the species is specifically used by anybody for anything at levels significant to its population, given its occurrence in remote mountain regions and the generally low demand for all species of South-east Asian weasels.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no obvious potential major threats to this species: it is not sought for trade; it lives in Sumatra above the altitudes where general snaring and trapping of ground mammals is prevalent and where deforestation is heavy; much natural habitat on Java in this altitudinal band has been lost in the past and what remains is now fairly fragmented, but relatively stable in total area. Doubtless on both islands some fall victim to non-selective hunting methods, but there is no reason to consider these numbers are large enough to affect its survival prospects.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no obvious immediate conservation needs for Indonesian Mountain Weasel, given the lack of identified or plausible threats to it. Much of its high-altitude habitat is within already declared protected areas. As a high-altitude species it is perhaps vulnerable in the longer-term to climate change. All records of the species warrant publication to help to refine the scant knowledge base for the species and increase the confidence in assessing its conservation status. The almost complete lack of knowledge concerning its basic natural history is some cause for concern, given the tight linkage to specific prey of some congeners, and thus intrinsic vulnerability. Addressing this knowledge gap is probably the most important conservation-related activity for this species at present.

Citation: Duckworth, J.W., Holden, J., Eaton, J., Meijaard, E., Long, B. & Abramov, A.V. 2016. Mustela lutreolina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14019A45200228. . Downloaded on 26 July 2016.
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