Tuesday, March 29, 2016

[Mammalogy • 2012] Discovery of The Yellow-Bellied Weasel Mustela kathiah in Thailand

Figure 1. Yellow-bellied Weasel Mustela kathiah, Doi Phahompok National Park, 31 December 2000 (specimen THNHM-M-183). Photograph taken by W. Chutipong.
Figure 4. Yellow-bellied Weasel Mustela kathiah, Taksin Maharaj National Park, 13 January 2010. Photograph taken by N. Kunthawong.

The first records of Yellow-bellied Weasel Mustela kathiah [เพียงพอนท้องเหลือง / เพียงพอนสีน้ำตาล] from Thailand are from sites in the country’s north that are ecologically similar to where the species has been recorded in the neighbouring countries Lao PDR and Myanmar. The first record came from Doi Phahompok National Park, Chiang Mai Province. The dead animal, later deposited at the Thailand Natural History Museum, was misidentified as Least Weasel Mustela nivalis (never otherwise claimed for Thailand) and has been included under that name in some publications on mammals of Thailand. Two road-killed Yellow-bellied Weasels (one preserved) and one sighting come from Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai Province. A live-captured weasel and several sightings, all by day, were documented in Taksin Maharaj National Park, Tak Province. One sighting record from Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchanaburi Province, is south of the other records presented here. Most records came from hill evergreen forest and/or disturbed habitats at elevations above 1,400 m asl, but the Thung Yai sighting was in dry evergreen forest at 770 m asl. The scarcity of Thai records of Yellow-bellied Weasel does not necessarily indicate a genuine national rarity; it may simply have been overlooked by conventional survey methods. Least Weasel should be deleted from the list of mammals of Thailand.

Keywords: extension of known range, hill evergreen forest, Least Weasel, Mustela kathiah, Mustela nivalis, Thailand, Yellow-bellied Weasel

Suthee Supparatvikorn, Kaset Sutasha, Thana Sirisumpun, Naret Kunthawong, Wanlop Chutipong and J. W. Duckworth. 2012. Discovery of The Yellow-Bellied Weasel Mustela kathiah in Thailand. NAT. HIST. BULL. SIAM. SOC. 58: 19–30, 2012