State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Mustela eversmanni Lesson, 1827

  • Mustela amurensis (Ognev, 1930)
Vernacular Name
Steppe Polecat, Steppe Weasel
Conservation status
Be (II); RDBUkr: Зникаючі
Value of species
Mustela eversmanii eversmanii Lesson, 1827 Mustela eversmanii hungarica Ehik, 1928 Some authors (e.g., Pocock 1936, Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1951) considered Mustela eversmanii conspecific with M. putorius, however most recognised these two taxa as closely related but distinct species (Heptner et al. 1967, Abramov 2000, Wozencraft 2005). Recent molecular (Davison et al. 1999, Kurose et al. 2000, Koepfli et al. 2008) and morphological (Abramov et al. 2016) studies support this point of view. This species includes Mustela amurensis, sometimes treated as a full species based on fur coloration (e.g., Gao et al. 1987, Wang and Yang 2007). Steppe Polecat occurs east from Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria (central Europe) through southern Russia, northern Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to Mongolia and northern and western China (Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999, Wang 2003, Wozencraft 2005). A number of historical indications further south in China and one from Kashmir, India, lack precise localities; a single recent record from the upper Mustang, Nepal, is far south of any previous known location in the eastern part of the species's range (Pocock 1941, Chetri et al. 2014). Although there is only this one record from Nepal, some local people seem familiar with the species, indicating a resident population there (Chetri et al. 2014). In Europe this species is found in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine (Šálek et al. 2013). The recent occurrence of the species in Serbia has apparently not been confirmed. It occurs in central and southern European Russia southward to northern Caucasus (along the Black Sea to Sukhumi, and along the Caspian Sea to Makhachkala); its northernmost range part passes along the eastern slope of the Ural Mts (up to 60° N) (Abramov and Khlyap 2012). Its distribution in Georgia is restricted to the disputed territory of Abkhazia (near Sukhumi). It occurs up to 800 m in Europe and up to 2,600 m in central Asia; the single Nepal record was at 5,050 m (Chetri et al. 2014). Steppe Polecat inhabits a variety of relatively dry habitats including steppes, semi-deserts, pastures, and cultivated fields (Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999). In south Siberia it often occurs in wooded steppes. Its diet consists mainly of rodents (including susliks Spermophilus, marmots Marmota, and various genera of hamsters, gerbils and voles) and pikas Ochotona. It avoids forests and is primarily nocturnal.
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Селюніна З.В. Зміни складу теріофауни регіону Чорноморського заповідника в результаті інвазії видів (історія вивчення ссавців та господарського освоєння) // Праці Теріологічної Школи. - 2014. - Т.12. - С.69-80.
  • Татаринов К. А. Звірі західних областей України (матеріали до вивчення фауни Української РСР). - Київ: Вид-во АН УРСР, 1956. - 188 с.

Taxonomic branch