Lyncodon patagonicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Lyncodon patagonicus
Species Authority: (de Blainville, 1842)
Common Name(s):
English Patagonian Weasel
Spanish Huroncito
Mustela patagonica de Blainville, 1842

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-11
Assessor(s): Kelt, D., Pardiñas, U., Schiaffini, M. & González-Maya, J.F.
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Least Concern because there is no reason to believe that it approaches the thresholds for a threatened category or even Near Threatened. However, there is little available indication, and no hard information on current population status or trend, or on major threats. It is a poorly known species with few specimens deposited in museum collections (Redford and Eisenberg 1992, Prevosti and Pardiñas 2001, Prevosti et al. 2009). Recent investigations have added new localities, and expanded the known range, but further work is needed for a full understanding of range. It is possible that this species might be found to be appropriately listed on a threat category, if the impacts of habitat conversion, retaliatory killing and hunting are found to be much more severe than are presently assumed.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Patagonian Weasel is found in temperate arid and semiarid portions of Argentina and southern Chile (Prevosti and Pardiñas 2001). It is known to occur from Salta province south along the western part of the country to Santa Cruz province, and then into Chile along the southern Argentine border (Schiaffini et al. 2013.) It has been recorded from sea-level up to 2,000 m a.s.l. (Prevosti et al. 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is suspected to be rare and to occur at low densities across its range (Prevosti et al. 2009). Miller et al. (1983) considered it to be rare in Chile, and only two Recent records (both pre-1966) exist for the country (Prevosti et al. 2009). New locality records were reported for northern Patagonia, Argentina (Teta et al. 2008) reaching 53 confirmed recent records (Prevosti et al. 2009, Schiaffini et al. 2013).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Lyncodon patagonicus is found in herbaceous and shrub steppes and xerophytic woodlands (Osgood 1943, Prevosti and Pardiñas 2001). Its habits are little known; available data indicate that it is nocturnal-crepuscular and that it preys on fossorial rodents and birds (Koslowsky 1904, Cabrera and Yepes 1940, Redford and Eisenberg 1992). It is perhaps associated with tuc-tuc Ctenomys communities (Koslowsky 1904).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4.8
Movement patterns:Unknown

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are likely to be few direct threats to this species, although habitat degradation (through domestic sheep grazing) and occasional killing by ranchers are local threats (Prevosti et al. 2009). Retaliatory killing (as a predator of small livestock) and hunting might also be threats, at least locally.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not often seen in the wild or collected. It is possible – even likely – that it occurs in several protected areas in western and southern Patagonia in Argentina (Nahuel Huapi, Lanin, Lago Puelo, Los Alerces, Perito Moreno, and Los Glaciares National Parks), although most of these comprise mainly forested habitats, rather than the open terrain used by this species. For a clearer understanding of distribution, abundance and natural history, further survey is necessary, using techniques appropriate for the species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Unknown
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Unknown
  Included in international legislation:Unknown
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Unknown
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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]

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. 1940. Mamíferos Sudamericanos. Ediar, Buenos Aires.

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

Koslowsky, J. 1904. Dos mamíferos de Patagonia cazados en el valle del lago Blanco (Territorio del Chubut). Revista Del Museo de La Plata 11: 129–132.

Miller, S.D., Rottmann, J., Raedeke, K.J. and Taber, R.D. 1983. Endangered mammals of Chile: status and conservation. Biological Conservation 25: 335-352.

Osgood, W.H. 1943. The mammals of Chile. Field Museum of Natural History, Zoological Series 30: 1-268.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Prevosti, F. and Pardiñas, U. 2001. Variaciones corológicas de Lyncodon patagonicus (Carnivora, Mustelidae) durante el Cuaternario. Mastozoología Neotropical 8(1): 21-39.

Prevosti, F.J., Teta, P., Pardiñas, U.F.J. 2009. Distribution, natural history, and conservation of the Patagonia Weasel Lyncodon patagonicus. Small Carnivore Conservation 41: 29-34.

Redford, K.H. and Eisenberg, J.F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Schiaffini, M., Martin, G.M., Giménez, A. and Prevosti, F.J. 2013. Distribution of Lyncodon patagonicus (Carnivora, Mustelidae): changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present. Journal of Mammalogy 94: 339-350.

Teta, P., Prevosti, F.J. and Trejo, A. 2008. Raptor predation and new locality records for the poorly known Patagonian Weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) (Carnivora: Mustelidae). Mammalian Biology 73(3): 238-240.

Citation: Kelt, D., Pardiñas, U., Schiaffini, M. & González-Maya, J.F. 2016. Lyncodon patagonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41647A45212747. . Downloaded on 30 April 2017.
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