Mustela itatsi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela itatsi
Species Authority: Temminck, 1844
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Weasel
Mustela sibirica subspecies itatsi Temminck, 1844
Taxonomic Notes: Abramov (2000), Kuroseet al. (2000), and Graphodatsky et al. (1976) supported separation of itatsi from sibirica. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Siberian Weasel Mustela sibirica.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Abramov, A. & Wozencraft, C.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern, although there is interspecific competition with introduced populations of Mustela sibirica this species is widespread geographically in Japan and is not thought to be declining at a rate to qualify for a threat category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Not Evaluated (NE)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Japan on Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Sado, Oki Islands, Izu-Oshima, Awaji, Shoudo, Iki, Goto Islands, Yaku and Tane, and introduced to Hokkaido in the 1880s (Inukai 1934). It was introduced for control of rats on about 50 islands, including Sakhlain, Rishiri, Rebun, Izu Islands (Miyake, Hachijo, Aogashima), Aoshima (Nagasaki Prefecture), Kuchino, Nakano, Suwanose, Hira, Akuseki, Kikai, Okinoerabu, Yoron (Kagoshima Prefecture), Zamami, Aka, Minami-Daito, Kita-Daito, Irabu, Iriomote, Hateruma (Okinawa Prefecture) (Shiraishi 1982). It is naturalized on some islands (Abe, 2005). It is found in most elevation zones, but mainly at lower elevations (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in grasslands, forests, villages, and suburbs, but not in big cities (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006). Rodents, insects, amphibians and reptiles make up the main part of its diet (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006). It shows extreme sexual dimorphism (male:450 g, female:150 g ) (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006). It is found in most habitats across Japan.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It does not tolerate urbanization (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006). In western Japan, the Japanese Weasel is being driven to marginal montane habitats by competition with the introduced Siberian Weasel (Mustela sibirica) (Abe, 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Females of this species are protected from hunting by law (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006). It is ranked as a near threatened species in the Red List of nine prefectures in the western Japan (Sasaki pers. comm. 2006).

Citation: Abramov, A. & Wozencraft, C. 2008. Mustela itatsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41656A10530315. . Downloaded on 28 June 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided