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1 September 2014 Factors Affecting the Distribution of the Japanese Weasel Mustela itatsi and the Siberian Weasel M. sibirica in Japan
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Abstract

The vertical distribution of introduced Siberian weasels Mustela sibirica and endemic Japanese weasels M. itatsi in the Seburi Mountains in Kyushu, Japan, was examined from October 1996 to February 1998. Siberian weasels occurred near villages with paddy and cultivated fields, whereas Japanese weasels occurred in grasslands and plantations. The dispersion of yearlings destabilized the distributions of both weasel species. The horizontal distribution of both species throughout Japan was examined by means of collection of dead specimens and by trapping from March 1998 to March 2002. The eastern boundary of the distribution of the Siberian weasel was Fukui, Nagano, and Aichi prefectures; however, the distribution is expanding slowly eastward. The Siberian weasel cannot invade new habitats that lack nearby villages in Seburi, and cannot expand its range in the eastern area of Aichi, where Japanese weasels are dominant. The presence of the Japanese weasel likely prevents expansion of the distribution of the Siberian weasel.

© The Mammal Society of Japan
Hiroshi Sasaki, Kyoko Ohta, Toshiki Aoi, Shigeki Watanabe, Tetsuji Hosoda, Hitoshi Suzuki, Mikiko Abe, Kazuhiro Koyasu, Syuji Kobayashi, and Sen-ichi Oda "Factors Affecting the Distribution of the Japanese Weasel Mustela itatsi and the Siberian Weasel M. sibirica in Japan," Mammal Study 39(3), 133-139, (1 September 2014). https://doi.org/10.3106/041.039.0302
Received: 24 March 2014; Accepted: 7 July 2014; Published: 1 September 2014
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