Mustela nudipes 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela nudipes Desmarest, 1822
Common Name(s):
English Malay Weasel, Malayan Weasel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-07
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W., Chutipong, W., Hearn, A. & Ross, J.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Kanchanasaka, B.
Malay Weasel is listed as Least Concern, because it has widely been reported outside forest, and ascends to much higher altitudes than those at which the current punishing levels of forest conversion are taking place in the Greater Sundas, such that a population decline at rates sufficient even for Near Threatened cannot be inferred on habitat trends. Although the population is likely to be reducing in proportion to deforestation, no major threats to the species within remaining habitat are known or suspected.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Malay Weasel is confined to three large land-masses of Sundaic Southeast Asia: the Thai-Malay peninsula, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo; in all three, it is widespread (Duckworth et al. 2006). Confusion about the existence of this species on Java stems from an error in the original description, which is occasionally still repeated today, e.g. by Wilson and Reeder (2005), where the holotype was said to come from Java (Duckworth et al. 2006). The northernmost record is from Thailand at 10°N (Chutipong et al. 2014). This species is altitudinally wide-ranging, with records from sea-level up to 1,700 m asl, including many records up to 1,400 m asl (Duckworth et al. 2006, Ross et al. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Thailand
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Malay Weasel has not been studied in the wild. It appears to be widespread but difficult to see and camera-trap, and probably at low density (Duckworth et al. 2006, Ross et al. 2013). The sites of records, behaviour towards people and lack of plausible threats suggest that within remaining habitat, subpopulations are likely to be relatively stable. However, wide deforestation in recent decades and replacement with plantations and other non-forest habitats, which almost certainly support lower densities than do native forest (if they hold the species at all), allow a fairly confident assessment that overall its global population will be declining.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Malay Weasel range coincides with the distribution of Sundaic evergreen broad-leafed forest: most records come from this habitat. It is possible that it strictly avoids more seasonal areas: there are no records from southeast Borneo (most of which has a distinct dry season), although this might simply be an artefact of limited survey there (Duckworth et al. 2006). Many records come from lightly to heavily encroached areas. There are also several from plantations and even peri-urban fringes, although there is insufficient information to determine whether such areas are permanently occupied, let alone capable of supporting subpopulations in isolation from native forest. Little is known about the species' natural history, although it is evidently diurnal (Ross et al. 2013). It is probably similar to other weasels in other aspects: it is likely to be solitary, mostly ground-dwelling and so potentially exposed to generalised snaring and other forms of trapping. However, the distribution of recent records in deforested areas, even urban sites, indicates a high tolerance to human activities (Duckworth et al. 2006).
Generation Length (years):6.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is eaten in parts of Sarawak (and presumably elsewhere in its range) and there is some evidence of medicinal use, but no evidence that these activities are major threats (Duckworth et al. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Currently no major threats to this species have been traced. It is eaten in parts of Sarawak, and presumably elsewhere in its range, and there is some evidence of medicinal use, but no evidence that these activities are sufficient to constitute threats, even locally (Duckworth et al. 2006). However, deforestation has been widespread in recent decades across it range, particularly at lower altitudes, for conversion to plantations and other non-forest habitats that almost certainly support lower (or zero) Malay Weasel densities than do native forest. This allows a fairly confident assessment that overall its global population will be declining over time. Sufficient habitat survives and is legally assigned to remain forested that deforestation is not a threat to the species' survival or maintenance of its natural range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: As of 2006, Malay Weasel was protected in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, but neither in Sarawak nor in Indonesia (based on the ARCBC database). This species has been reported from many protected areas within its range (Duckworth et al. 2006, Ross et al. 2013, Chutipong et al. 2014). There are no identified conservation needs other than the maintenance of the protected area system across its range.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable season:unknown major importance:No
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Marginal season:unknown 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability:Marginal season:unknown 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No

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:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No

Bibliography [top]

Chutipong, W., Tantipisanuh, N., Ngoprasert, D., Lynam, A.J., Steinmetz, R., Jenks, K.E., Grassman Jr., L.I., Tewes, M., Kitamura, S., Baker, M.C., McShea, W., Bhumpakphan, N., Sukmasuang, R., Gale, G.A., Harich, F.K., Treydte, A.C., Cutter, P., Cutter, P.B., Suwanrat, S., Siripattaranukul, K., Hala-Bala Wildlife Research Station, Wildlife Research Division and Duckworth, J.W. 2014. Current distribution and conservation status of small carnivores in Thailand: a baseline review. Small Carnivore Conservation 51: 96–136.

Duckworth, J.W., Lee, B.P.Y.-H., Meijaard, E. and Meiri, S. 2006. The Malay Weasel Mustela nudipes: distribution, natural history and a global conservation status review. Small Carnivore Conservation 34/35: 2-21.

Franklin, N. and Wells, P. 2005. Observation of a Malay Weasel in Sumatra. Small Carnivore Conservation 32: 15.

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

Ross, J., Hearn, A.J. and Macdonald, D.W. 2013. Recent camera-trap records of Malay Weasel Mustela nudipes in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 20–24.

Citation: Duckworth, J.W., Chutipong, W., Hearn, A. & Ross, J. 2015. Mustela nudipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41657A45214257. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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