Mustela africana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela africana Desmarest, 1818
Common Name(s):
English Amazon Weasel, Tropical Weasel
Spanish Comadreja Amazónica
Taxonomic Notes: Mustela stolzanni is considered a subspecies of M. africana, while M. paraensis is a synonym of M. a. africana (Wozencraft 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-01
Assessor(s): Emmons, L. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Least Concern in the light of its large range in Amazonian forests, presumed large populations remaining in forested habitat and the decline rates in portions of its range being insufficient to result in overall population loss rates to consider it to be even Near Threatened. This species could be seen as a candidate for a Data Deficient listing, because almost nothing is known of its ecology, threats and distribution. However, it is suspected to occur over a large area of almost intact habitat which suggests that it is not currently declining at a rate sufficient to qualify for listing. More research effort is needed to determine its distribution, presence in protected areas, and level of tolerance of human disturbance.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is distributed in the Amazon Basin in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and northern Bolivia, potentially present in southern Colombia but with no confirmed records (Ramírez-Chaves et al. 2012, Solari et al. 2013). The limits of the range are poorly know because so few specimens have been collected.
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Ecuador; Peru
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Nothing is known of the populations of this species as it is seldom encountered even where it is known to occur.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Amazon Weasel has been reported mainly from humid riparian forests (Izor and de la Torre 1978).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Almost nothing is known of the threats to this species, although it could be inferred that habitat conversion of the Amazonian rain forests is causing proportionate reductions in some portions of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Schreiber et al. (1989) affirmed that this tropical weasel may occur in several of the large national parks of Amazonia. It has been reported to occur in the Tambopata Reserve Zone (L.H. Emmons pers. comm. 2008), and unconfirmed reports exist from Cocha Cashu and Alto Purus (L.H. Emmons pers. comm. 2008).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Izor, R. and de la Torre, L., 1978. A new species of weasel (Mustela) form the highlands of Colombia, with comments on the evolution and distribution of south american weasels. Journal of Mammalogy 59(1): 92-102.

Ramírez-Chaves, H. E., Mulder, K. P., Marín, D., & Pérez, W. A. 2012. Has Colombian Weasel Mustela felipei been overlooked in collections ? Small Carrnivore Conservation 47: 30-34.

Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 1989. Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives. An Action Plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Solari, S., Muñoz-Saba, Y., Rodríguez-Mahecha, J.V., Defler, T.R., Ramírez-Chaves, H.E. and Trujillo, F. 2013. Riqueza, endemismo y conservación de los mamíferos de Colombia. Mastozoología Neotropical 20: 301-365.

Wozencraft, W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Citation: Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. 2016. Mustela africana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14025A45200982. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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