Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Siberian Weasel

Mustela sibirica
Meet the Siberian Weasel, also known as the Kolonok! These Mustelids have a huge range that spans across not just Siberia, but China, Mongolia, India, and several other east and central Asian countries as well. They have also been introduced to parts of Japan.

These long, slender mammals have impressively long tails-- they can be half their entire body length! They have fur that ranges from blonde to red, and have black masks and a white snout.

Siberian Weasels live in burrows, but the term "burrow" is very non-specific. They will hang out in tree stumps, fallen logs, and in dens that were built by other mammals but were vacated. The Weasels tend to have multiple burrowing sites-- one primary location and a number of more temporary hiding places.

Theses burrows are also were the Weasels care for their young. They line the area with feathers and other soft materials. Mating takes place in April and May, with a gestation period of about a month. A female can give birth to 10 offspring at a time, and the young ones are born blind and helpless. They grow very quickly though! By August they are off on their own!

Siberian Weasels, like many of their breathern, have pelts that are used by humans. In this case they are very popular with paint brush manufacturers. They don't do well in captivity though  so the hairs are usually only taken from wild individuals, making the brushes more expensive. At this time the range of the Siberian Weasel is quite large, and they are numerous in number, so human hunting has not massively affected their population.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Asia
Size : Body Length up to 15in (38cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Mustelidae -- Genus : Mustela -- Species : M. sibirica
Image : YoPhotographer

2 comments:

  1. They are so cute!!!!! I'd love to see one. :)

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  2. Great post and so interesting. Glad I stopped by, and continued good luck with the blog hop!
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