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Tigre Ecozonia
Mustelidae | Mustela sibirica

Siberian weasel

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The Siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica) is the smallest mammal in EcoZonia, but certainly also one of the most vigorous. This small animal with twilight activity is able to move 8 km in a single night! Having an appetite bigger than the belly, it has the habit of storing its preys in several burrows which cover its territory.


Siberian weasel IUCN Status

EX Globally extinct RE Disappeared at the regional level CR Critically endangered EN Endangered (EN) VU Vulnerable NT Near Threatened LC Least concern

Siberian weasel Size

Siberian weasel Gestation



Where does the unpleasant smell of the weasel come from?

Like other mustelids, M.sibirica has anal glands positioned just below the tail. These are filled with a very fragrant mucus. The weasel uses this scent for olfactory communication, in order to mark its territory and to defend itself. A smell that has earned this name for the species!

In case of danger, the weasel is able to project the foul-smelling mucus on the possible predator in order to create a diversion and to flee.

Each scent is unique to an individual. Nonetheless there are also specific gender-related compounds in the anal glands which suggest that chemical secretion could be used to encode information between males and females during the breeding season.


Hair that is worth gold!

Historically called "kolinsky", the weasel has long been hunted for its fur. Now protected by the Washington Convention, it is now subject to a very controlled so-called "sustainable" hunt to ensure that the species does not disappear.

Indeed, even if the body's fur remains used for making clothes, despite a declining commercial value, it is the tail hair that is the most sought after. With a length of 3 to 4 cm, they provide the brushes of the famous Kolinsky brand.

Originally created at the behest of Queen Victoria, the Series 7 brush was first made in 1866 and was designed to be the finest watercolor brush possible. For example, a Series 7 Kolinsky brush could cost over $ 300.

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