Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Endangered (EN)
- 1994Endangered (E)
Colombian weasel (Mustela felipei), also known as the Don Felipe's weasel, is a very rare species of weasel only known with certainty from the departments of Huila and Cauca in Colombia and nearby northern Ecuador (where only known from a single specimen). Both its scientific and alternative common name honours the mammalogist Philip "Don Felipe" Hershkovitz.
It appears to be largely restricted to riparian habitats at an altitude of 1700–2700 m (5600–8900 ft). There is extensive deforestation within its limited distribution within the Northern Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, and with less than 10 known specimens, it is probably the rarest carnivoran in South America. It is therefore considered vulnerable by IUCN.
Mature specimens have averaged around 22 cm (8.7 in), not counting a tail of around 11.5 cm (4.5 in), and have weighed 120–150 g (4.2–5.3 oz). This places as the second smallest living carnivore on average, being only slightly larger than the Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) and slightly smaller than the Ermine or Stoat (M. erminea). The upperparts and tail are blackish-brown, while the underparts are orange-buff. The fur is fairly long.
- Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). Mustela felipei. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable
- Eisenberg, John Frederick; Redford, Kent Hubbard (1999). Mammals of the Neotropics: The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil (vol. 3). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 624. ISBN 978-0-226-19542-1.
- Izor, R. J., and L. de la Torre. 1978. A New Species of Weasel (Mustela) from the Highlands of Colombia, with Comments on the Evolution and Distribution of South American Weasels. Journal of Mammalogy. Vol. 59(1): 92-102
- Novak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
- Carnivores of the World by Dr. Luke Hunter. Princeton University Press (2011), ISBN 9780691152288
- Izor, R. J. and N. E. Peterson. 1985. Notes on South American weasels. Journal of Mammalogy 66: 788–790.
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