Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Mustela subpalmata
Species Authority: Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833
Common Name(s):
English Egyptian Weasel
French Belette égyptienne
Mustela nivalis subspecies subpalmata Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833
Taxonomic Notes: Recognized as a separate species by van Zyll de Jong (1992), Reig (1997), and Abramov and Baryshnikov (2000). Treated as a separate species by Wozencraft (2005) and McDonald (in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): McDonald, R. & Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as although it has a restricted distribution in the Nile Delta of Egypt (though not believed small enough to meet the threshold for the B criterion), the species is common and adaptable, commensal with humans, and there are currently no known major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Not Evaluated (NE)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Confined to the lower Nile Valley of Egypt, between Beni Suef in the south and Alexandria and the Delta in the north (Handwerk 1993, McDonald in press).
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common to abundant; densities of 0.5–1.0/ha have been estimated from trapping (Handwerk 1993). Opportunistic feeders.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Commensal with humans, and often trapped in human habitations, including underground larders and even in cars (McDonald in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is a human commensal, and no conservation measures apparently are currently needed.

Classifications [top]

14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Abramov, A.V. and Baryshnikov, G.F. 2000. Geographic variation and intraspecific taxonomy of Weasel Mustela nivalis (Carnivora, Mustelidae). Zoosystematica Rossica 8: 365-402.

Handwerk, J. 1993. Zur Biologie und Ökologie ägyptischer Wiesel, Mustela subpalmata Hemprich und Ehrenberg, 1833. Zoology in the Middle East 9: 5-30.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

McDonald, R.A. 2013. Mustela nivalis Least Weasel (Common Weasel) / Mustela subpalmata Egyptian Weasel. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 85-87. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Reig, S. 1997. Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of size variation in North American least weasels (Mustela nivalis). Canadian Journal of Zoology 75: 2036-2049.

Van Zyll de Jong, C.G. 1992. A morphometric analysis of cranial variation in Holarctic weasels (Mustela nivalis). Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 57: 77-93.

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. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: McDonald, R. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Mustela subpalmata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41660A10504103. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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