Ictonyx libycus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Ictonyx libycus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Libyan Striped Weasel, Saharan Striped Polecat, Saharan Striped Weasel
French Zorille de Lybie
Ictonyx libyca (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833) [orth. error]
Taxonomic Notes: This species was included in the genus Poecilictis by Cuzin (2013) following molecular studies by Koepfli et al. (2008) and Sato et al. (2012). However, it is treated here as congeneric with Ictonyx following Rosevear (1974), Niethammer (1987) and Wozencraft (2005). Note that Ictonyx is a masculine genus so this species is thus correctly I. lybicus, not I. lybica, as recently pointed out and used in Do Linh San et al. (2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Ahmim, M. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Hoffmann, M., Cuzin, F. & De Smet, K.
This species is listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution range, is not uncommon, and there are no obvious major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is present in northern Africa from Morocco and Senegal to Egypt and Eritrea. Its distribution range is poorly known (Cuzin 2013) and 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).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Burkina Faso; Chad; Egypt; Eritrea; Libya; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sudan; Tunisia; Western Sahara
Additional data:
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. Lybian Striped Weasels are not uncommon, and are reportedly abundant in coastal dunes, but numbers are probably subject to periodic fluctuations (Cuzin 2013).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Lybian Striped Weasels are only found 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 2013).
Generation Length (years):3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although their meat is not eaten, Lybian Striped Weasels 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. 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats, but Lybian Striped Weasels are exploited in Tunisia in the belief that they are capable of increasing human male fertility. Also, they may be subject to competition with Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) in the most productive habitats (e.g., in Morocco: F. Cuzin pers. obs. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected by law in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia (K. de Smet pers. comm. 2007). It is presumably present in several protected areas across the range.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.2. Problematic native species/diseases -> 8.2.2. Named species [ Mustela nivalis_old ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Cuzin, F. 2013. Poecilictis libyca Lybian Striped Weasel. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 90-92. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Dao, V.H., Nguyen, T.D., Nguyen, T.H., Takata, Y., Sato, S., Kodama, M., and Fukuyo, Y. 2012. High individual variation in the toxicity of three species of marine puffer in Vietnam. Coastal Marine Science 35(1): 1-6.

Do Linh San, E., Ferguson, A.W., Belant, J.L., Schipper, J., Hoffmann, M., Gaubert, P., Angelici, F.M. and Somers, M.J. 2013. Conservation status, distribution and species richness of small carnivores in Africa. Small Carnivore Conservation 48: 4-18.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Koepfli, K.-P., Deer, K.A., Slater, G.J., Begg, C., Begg, K., Grassman, L., Lucherini, M., Veron, G. and Wayne, R.K. 2008. Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation. BMC Biology 6: 10. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-6-10.

Niethammer, J. 1987. Das Streifenwiesel (Poecilictis libyca) in Sudan und seine Gesamtverbreitung. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 38: 173-182.

Rosevear, D.R. 1974. The Carnivores of West Africa. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Sato, J.J., Wolsan, M., Prevosti, F.J., Delia, G., Begg, C., Begg, K., Hosoda, T., Campbell, K.L. and Suzuki, H. 2012. Evolutionary and biogeographic history of weasel-like carnivorans (Musteloidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63: 745-757.

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: Ahmim, M. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Ictonyx libycus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41645A45212347. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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