(Other Names: Comadreja de Felipe, Don Felipe's Weasel, Water Weasel)
One Colombian weasel weighed 138 g (5 oz). Known specimens have been collected in areas
close to water at elevations of 1750 and 2700 m (5740' and 8900'), an altitude where cloud forests predominate. One specimen was
collected in a region of the upper Suaza River valley where the river contains stretches
with torrential currents which are interrupted by quiet pools (Schreiber et al. 1989). However, the most
recent collection was in rugged terrain but not near water. Webbing between the toes and
its (mostly) riparian distribution suggests that
the Colombian weasel is aquatic.
*** Inhabitants of areas adjoining sites where the Colombian weasel was being studied were asked which mammals they were familiar with. Almost all farm-dwelling people questioned had seen weasels, and usually thought of them as pests, since most encounters involved predation upon chickens or domestic guinea pigs (Fawcett et al. 1996).
*** The Colombian weasel is probably the rarest carnivore in South America. As of 1989, virtually nothing was known about its distribution, its status or its ecology. (Schreiber et al. 1989)
*** As of 1996, only five specimens of the Colombian weasel were known. Three of them were originally mis-labeled as the long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata, before the Colombian weasel had been identified as a separate species.
There is extensive deforestation in the area where the Colombian weasel has been found; however, it is not yet established whether this is having an adverse effect on the weasel.
Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl., Emmons & Feer 1997, Fawcett et al. 1996, InfoNatura, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Izor & de la Torre 1978, Nowak 1999, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Schreiber et al. 1989
Last modified: January 30, 2005;