Ictonyx libyca


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ictonyx libyca
Species Authority: (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833)
Common Name(s):
English Libyan Striped Weasel, Saharan Striped Weasel, Saharan Striped Polecat
French Zorille de Lybie
Taxonomic Notes: Included in the genus Poecilictis by several authors, but treated here as congeneric with Ictonyx following Rosevear (1974), Niethammer (1987), Wozencraft (2005) and Cuzin (in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hoffmann, M., Cuzin, F. & de Smet, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a wide distribution range, is not uncommon, and there are no obvious major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Present in northern Africa from Morocco and Senegal to Egypt and Eritrea. Their distribution is poorly known (Cuzin in press). Their range apparently overlaps with that of the Zorilla Ictonyx striatus in some regions, such as in northern Nigeria and in central and eastern Sudan (Niethammer 1987).
Algeria; Burkina Faso; Chad; Egypt; Eritrea; Libya; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sudan; Tunisia; Western Sahara
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is limited reliable information on the population status of this species. They are not uncommon, and are reportedly abundant in coastal dunes, but numbers are probably subject to periodic fluctuations (Cuzin in press).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Found only in desert fringes, mountains and oases, and sub-deserts. They favour sparse to very sparse vegetation cover, dominated by small bushes, except where they occur in cultivated areas (Cuzin in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats, but they may be subject to competition with Least Weasel Mustela nivalis in the most productive habitats (e.g., in Morocco: F. Cuzin pers. comm. 2007). Although their meat is not eaten, they are exploited in Tunisia in the belief that they are capable of increasing human male fertility, and there is even some international trade (e.g. from Tunisia into Libya: K. de Smet pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected by law in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia (K. de Smet pers. comm.). Presumably present in several protected areas across their range.

Citation: Hoffmann, M., Cuzin, F. & de Smet, K. 2008. Ictonyx libyca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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