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Mustela eversmanii 

Scope:Global
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela eversmanii
Species Authority: Lesson, 1827
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Steppe Polecat, Steppe Weasel, Putois des Steppes
Spanish Turón de la Estepa
Synonym(s):
Mustela amurensis (Ognev, 1930)
Mustela eversmannii Lesson, 1827 [orth. error]
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon includes Mustela amurensis (Wozencraft 2005). M. eversmanii was widely considered conspecific with M. putorius under the latter name (Corbet 1978); much information published under the name M. putorius refers to M. eversmanii.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Tikhonov, A., Cavallini, P., Maran, T., Krantz, A., Stubbe, M., Kryštufek B., Abramov A. & Wozencraft, C.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and tolerance to some degree of habitat modification. Although its populations undergo considerable fluctuations, it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The steppe polecat occurs from central and eastern Europe in the west through southern Russia, northern Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to Mongolia and northern and western China. It occurs up to 800 m in Europe and to 2,600 m in central Asia. Wozencraft (2005) lists the following countries of occurrence for this species: Austria, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; it is also known from Kashmir (Pocock, 1941). According to Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999), in Europe this species is represented by two major populations that are separated by the Carpathians. The western population of which (subspecies Mustela eversmanii hungarica) is found in the Czech Republic, eastern Austria, southern Slovakia, Ukraine south of the Carpathians, Hungary, northern Yugoslavia, and western Romania; the eastern population (nominate subspecies) being restricted to northern Bulgaria, southern Romania, Moldova, Ukraine east and north of the Carpathians, southeastern Poland, southern European Russia, and Kazakhstan (Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Austria; Belarus; Bulgaria; China; Czech Republic; Georgia; Hungary; India; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe, this species is still numerous, particularly in southern European Russia and Kazakhstan, though it is unevenly spaced and abundant across its range, with unstable population densities, being strongly dependent on food resources, and capable of spreading and colonizing new areas rapidly (Mitchell-Jones et al, 1999). It is more widespread to the east of Europe. There has been no evidence for any decline (except in Austria and the Czech Republic), but the species is scarce. However, ground squirrels are declining and this is an important prey species, so this could have an impact on the population in Europe. It is widespread and common in Central Asia and Siberia.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits a variety of relatively dry habitats including steppes, semi-deserts, pastures, and cultivated fields (Mitchell-Jones et al, 1999). Its diet consists mainly of rodents, including sousliks, marmots, hamsters, pikas, gerbils and voles. It avoids forests, and is primarily nocturnal.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is not intentionally hunted (more bycatch) but is heavily impacted by persecution in the western parts of its range. However, in Russia it is a commonly hunted species for fur. It is impacted by habitat loss in China. Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999) state that this species is hunted for its pelts.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is not intentionally hunted (more bycatch) but is heavily impacted by persecution in the western parts of its range. However, in Russia it is a commonly hunted species for fur. It is impacted by habitat loss in China. Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999) state that this species is hunted for its pelts.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected under Appendix II of the Bern Convention (Mitchell-Jones et al, 1999). It occurs in many protected areas. There is a need to address the hunting and persecution issues for this species. It is listed as Vulnerable in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. The subspecies, Mustela eversmanii amurensis, is on the Red Data Book in China and Russia (2001). In Russia its listing is due to reductions in population size, and in China it is listed as Near Threatened due to habitat loss

Citation: Tikhonov, A., Cavallini, P., Maran, T., Krantz, A., Stubbe, M., Kryštufek B., Abramov A. & Wozencraft, C. 2008. Mustela eversmanii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T29679A9524646. . Downloaded on 28 May 2016.
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