Mustela frenata - Lichtenstein, 1831
Long-tailed Weasel
Other English Common Names: long-tailed weasel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Mustela frenata Lichtenstein, 1831 (TSN 180556)
French Common Names: belette à longue queue
Spanish Common Names: Comedreja Andina
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100836
Element Code: AMAJF02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Carnivores
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae Mustela
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Mustela frenata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 18Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (31Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3), Arizona (S4), Arkansas (S3), California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S3), Florida (S5), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S5), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S2S3), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S3), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S2?), Missouri (S3), Montana (S5), Navajo Nation (S4), Nebraska (S2), Nevada (S5), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New Mexico (S4), New York (S5), North Carolina (S3S4), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S1), Oregon (S5), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S4), South Carolina (S3?), South Dakota (S5), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5), Utah (S4S5), Vermont (S3S4), Virginia (S5), Washington (S5), West Virginia (S4), Wisconsin (S4), Wyoming (S5)
Canada Alberta (S3S4), British Columbia (S5), Manitoba (S3), New Brunswick (S5), Ontario (S4), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S5)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:NAR
Comments on COSEWIC: Subspecies longicauda of AB, SK and MB is designated Not at Risk.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Southern Canada, most all of the contiguous U.S., and south to Venezuela and Bolivia, excluding the southwestern deserts of the U.S. (Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Sheffield and Thomas 1997).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include monoculture and "clean" farming and drainage of wetlands. Perhaps affected directly and indirectly by pesticide use (effects on reproduction, habitat, and/or food supply).

Movements of radio-tagged weasels in Indiana were consistent with the notion that long-tailed weasels may be sensitive to agriculturally induced fragmentation of habitat and the importance of maintaining landscape connectivity for species conservation (Gehring and Swihart 2004).

Prairie subspecies longicauda declined significantly in the northern Great Plains in the mid-1900s due to intense agricultural activity, use of pesticides, and habitat degradation, but the subspecies still is widespread and stable in its Canadian range (Johnson et al. 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Southern Canada, most all of the contiguous U.S., and south to Venezuela and Bolivia, excluding the southwestern deserts of the U.S. (Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Sheffield and Thomas 1997).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, NB, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Blount (01009), Covington (01039), Greene (01063), Lauderdale (01077)
AR Craighead (05031)*, Cross (05037)*, Jackson (05067)*, Stone (05137)
AZ Apache (04001), Cochise (04003), Coconino (04005), Graham (04009)*, Greenlee (04011)*, Navajo (04017)*
FL Alachua (12001), Baker (12003), Bay (12005), Bradford (12007), Brevard (12009), Charlotte (12015), Citrus (12017)*, Clay (12019), Collier (12021)*, Columbia (12023), Duval (12031)*, Escambia (12033), Flagler (12035), Gadsden (12039), Gilchrist (12041)*, Hamilton (12047), Hardee (12049), Hernando (12053)*, Highlands (12055), Hillsborough (12057), Holmes (12059), Indian River (12061), Jackson (12063), Jefferson (12065), Lafayette (12067)*, Leon (12073), Levy (12075)*, Liberty (12077)*, Madison (12079), Manatee (12081), Marion (12083), Nassau (12089)*, Okaloosa (12091), Orange (12095), Osceola (12097), Pasco (12101)*, Pinellas (12103)*, Polk (12105), Putnam (12107), Santa Rosa (12113), Sarasota (12115), Seminole (12117), Suwannee (12121), Taylor (12123), Union (12125)*, Volusia (12127)*, Wakulla (12129), Washington (12133)*
LA Allen (22003), Beauregard (22011), Bienville (22013), Bossier (22015)*, Caddo (22017)*, East Baton Rouge (22033), East Feliciana (22037), Lincoln (22061)*, Livingston (22063)*, Morehouse (22067)*, Ouachita (22073)*, Pointe Coupee (22077), Rapides (22079)*, Richland (22083)*, Sabine (22085), St. James (22093), St. Tammany (22103), Union (22111)*, Vernon (22115), West Feliciana (22125)
MO Adair (29001), Barry (29009), Bollinger (29017), Boone (29019), Buchanan (29021), Butler (29023), Callaway (29027)*, Cape Girardeau (29031), Carroll (29033), Cedar (29039), Chariton (29041), Cole (29051), Crawford (29055), Dallas (29059), Daviess (29061), Douglas (29067), Franklin (29071), Harrison (29081), Holt (29087), Howard (29089), Jackson (29095), Jasper (29097)*, Johnson (29101), Knox (29103), Laclede (29105), Lewis (29111), Lincoln (29113)*, Linn (29115), Livingston (29117), Macon (29121), Madison (29123), Morgan (29141), Nodaway (29147), Perry (29157), Pettis (29159), Pike (29163)*, Pulaski (29169), Putnam (29171), Randolph (29175), Reynolds (29179)*, Schuyler (29197), Scotland (29199), Shannon (29203), Shelby (29205), St. Charles (29183), St. Louis (29189), Ste. Genevieve (29186), Stoddard (29207), Taney (29213)*, Washington (29221), Wayne (29223), Webster (29225)
MS Adams (28001), Calhoun (28013), Chickasaw (28017), Clarke (28023)*, Copiah (28029)*, DeSoto (28033), Forrest (28035)*, Greene (28041)*, Harrison (28047), Hinds (28049)*, Jones (28067)*, Lamar (28073)*, Lincoln (28085)*, Marshall (28093)*, Pearl River (28109), Perry (28111)*, Tishomingo (28141)*, Wayne (28153)*, Winston (28159)*, Yazoo (28163)*
NE Cherry (31031), Dawes (31045), Garden (31069), Grant (31075), Sheridan (31161)
NM San Juan (35045)
OK Haskell (40061), Latimer (40077), Le Flore (40079), McCurtain (40089), Pushmataha (40127)
UT San Juan (49037)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 St. Marys (03070204)+, Nassau (03070205)+*, Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Daytona - St. Augustine (03080201)+, Cape Canaveral (03080202)+, Vero Beach (03080203)+, Kissimmee (03090101)+, Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+*, Peace (03100101)+, Myakka (03100102)+, Charlotte Harbor (03100103)+, Sarasota Bay (03100201)+, Little Manatee (03100203)+, Alafia (03100204)+, Hillsborough (03100205)+, Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+*, Withlacoochee (03100208)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+*, Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102)+, Aucilla (03110103)+*, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Lower Suwannee (03110205)+, Santa Fe (03110206)+, Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, New (03130013)+*, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Escambia (03140305)+, Tibbee (03160104)+, Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub (03160106)+, Noxubee (03160108)+*, Mulberry (03160109)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+*, Pascagoula (03170006)+*, Black (03170007)+*, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+*, Middle Pearl-Silver (03180003)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+*
06 Pickwick Lake (06030005)+
07 Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, North Fabius (07110002)+, South Fabius (07110003)+, The Sny (07110004)+, North Fork Salt (07110005)+, South Fork Salt (07110006)+, Cuivre (07110008)+*, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+, Meramec (07140102)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+, Whitewater (07140107)+
08 Upper St. Francis (08020202)+, Lower St. Francis (08020203)+, L'anguille (08020205)+*, Coldwater (08030204)+, Yalobusha (08030205)+, Upper Yazoo (08030206)+*, Lower Yazoo (08030208)+*, Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202)+*, Bayou D'arbonne (08040206)+*, Lower Ouachita (08040207)+*, Dugdemona (08040303)+*, Boeuf (08050001)+*, Lower Big Black (08060202)+*, Bayou Pierre (08060203)+*, Homochitto (08060205)+, Lower Mississippi-Baton Rouge (08070100)+, Bayou Sara-Thompson (08070201)+, Amite (08070202)+, Tickfaw (08070203)+*, Lake Maurepas (08070204)+, Lower Grand (08070300)+, Bayou Teche (08080102)+*, Upper Calcasieu (08080203)+*, Whisky Chitto (08080204)+, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)+, East Central Louisiana Coastal (08090301)+
10 Upper White (10140201)+, Niobrara Headwaters (10150002)+, Upper Niobrara (10150003)+, Upper Middle Loup (10210001)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Nodaway (10240010)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+, Thompson (10280102)+, Lower Grand (10280103)+, Upper Chariton (10280201)+, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Little Chariton (10280203)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, South Grand (10290108)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Big Piney (10290202)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+, Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102)+, Lamine (10300103)+, Blackwater (10300104)+, Lower Missouri (10300200)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+*, Middle White (11010004)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+*, Current (11010008)+, Upper White-Village (11010013)+*, Spring (11070207)+*, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Poteau (11110105)+, Pecan-Waterhole (11140106)+, Upper Little (11140107)+, Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+*, Middle Red-Coushatta (11140202)+*, Red Chute (11140204)+*, Bodcau Bayou (11140205)+*, Saline Bayou (11140208)+, Cross Bayou (11140304)+*
12 Lower Sabine (12010005)+
14 Lower Lake Powell (14070006)+*, Middle San Juan (14080105)+*, Chaco (14080106)+, Chinle (14080204)+, Lower San Juan (14080205)+*
15 Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon (15010001)+, Grand Canyon (15010002)+, Havasu Canyon (15010004)+, Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+*, Corn-Oraibi (15020012)+*, Canyon Diablo (15020015)+, Lower Little Colorado (15020016)+, Dinnebito Wash (15020017)+*, San Francisco (15040004)+, Willcox Playa (15050201)+, Black (15060101)+, Upper Verde (15060202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeds July-August. Gestation lasts 205-337 days (average 279); implantation delayed. Litter size is 1-12 (average 4-7). In north, one litter is born in April-May; nests with young have been found in November in southeastern U.S. Weaning begins at about 5 weeks. Young begin to disperse at about 11-12 weeks (see Johnson et al. 1993). Females are sexually mature in 3-4 months (in captivity) or usually 2 years in southern Canada (see Johnson et al. 1993), males in about 1 year.
Ecology Comments: Basically solitary, though more social where prey is abundant and habitat optimal. Population density averages 1 per 7-40 acres (Jackson 1961), depending upon habitat and environmental conditions (Baker 1983).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Male home range is 10-160 ha, varying with location and prey availability; female range averages smaller than male range (Jackson 1961, Caire et al. 1989, Johnson et al. 1993). In Indiana, based on radio-tagged individuals, mean home range size (95% adaptive kernel contour area) was 51.8 ha for adult females and 180.3 ha for adult males (Gehring and Swihart 2004).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Desert, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Found in a wide variety of habitats, usually near water. Favored habitats include brushland and open woodlands, field edges, riparian grasslands, swamps, and marshes (Sheffield, in Wilson and Ruff 1999). Dens are in abandoned burrow made by other mammal, rock crevice, brushpile, stump hollow, or space among tree roots; one individual may use multiple dens. Tolerant of close proximity to humans.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on small mammals, occasionally birds, other small vertebrates, and insects.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Primarily nocturnal, but frequently can be seen during daytime.
Length: 55 centimeters
Weight: 267 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Mar2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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