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Mouse weasel
:Raubtiere (Carnivora)
:Dog-well-behaved (Canoidea)
:Marder (Mustelidae)
:Mustelinae
:Mustela
:Mouse weasel
Scientific name
Mustela nivalis
Linnaeus, 1766

The mouse weasel, also dwarf or small weasel mentioned, (Mustela nivalis) is a robbery animal species from the family of the Marder (Mustelidae). Beside the Hermelin it is the second kind of the weasels domestic in Central Europe.

Characteristics

The mouse weasel is a smallest representative of the Raubtiere at all, even if there are substantial size differences in its large circulation area. Thus vary the head fuselage length between 11 and 26 centimeters, the tail length between 2 and 8 centimeters and the weight between 25 and 250 gram. The animals in North America will become generally smaller than the animals in Eurasien, these there as if Weasel ("smallest weasel ") leases designation. Likewise females are on the average smaller and easier than the males.

As is the case for the Hermelin it can come also with mouse weasels to a seasonally caused skin change. In the summer they are brown and at the lower surface white colored that for Winterkleid at the top side, are completely white, contrary to the Hermelin are thereby also their tail point white. These skin changes finds however only in the extreme north of the circulation area and in the high mountains.

Spreading and habitat

Mouse weasels are almost in the entire region as well as in North America resident. Their circulation area is enough from Western Europe to Japan and China and includes contrary to the Hermelin also the Mediterranean area and the northern Africa also. Only in Ireland, Iceland and the arctic islands they do not live. In North America they are common in Alaska, almost completely Canada and the north of the USA. Into New Zealand the kind was inserted.

Mouse weasels inhabit a set of Habitaten, among them edges of forest, grass countries, tundras, steppes and half deserts. They are to be found often also in agriculturally used areas, avoid however deep forests, deserts as well as mountains over 3000 meters sea-height.

Way of life

Mouse weasels can be both at day and at night on the way, in most cases are them however dawn or night active. As covering and Unterschlupf they refer rock columns, hollow trunks, heaps of stone or build other animals. The nests are lined with dry vegetation, hair or feathers/springs.

These animals live outside of the mating time The district size amounts to with males approximately 7 to 15 hectares, with female approximately 1 to 4 hectares. The borders of its territory with the secretion of its one mark. The district of a male can overlap itself with that one or several females, opposite other males shows it however expressed an aggressive behavior.

Food

The food of the mouse weasels consists with priority of small mammals, in particular rodents and hares. They are small enough, in order to creep even into the courses from mice to. In England in the 1980-he 1980 it was found out that field mice 55%, rabbit 19% and birds 15% of the booty to constitute. If there are no rabbits in its habitat, the rooting mouse portion of the food rises to partial over 80% and in the winter even to 100%. The Beutesprektum is so substantially smaller than with the Hermelin, mouse weasel more strongly specialized.

Reproduction and life expectancy

The mating can take place the whole year over, also in the arctic regions in the winter, as long as only enough food is present. High point of the reproduction season is however in spring and late summer, under favorable conditions can a female also twice in the year new generation get. The carrying time lasts approximately 34 to 37 days, the throw size lies with on the average five and can from 3 to 10 vary. Newborn children are very small (1.5 gram) and blindly, after one month they open the eyes, after one and a half to two months them are cured. Females will be able with three months sex-ripely and in their first Lebensjahr already to reproduce itself.

Many animals die in their first Lebensjahr, in free game course can them an age of maximally 3 to 5 years reach. Among their natural enemies rank among other things grab birds, owls, foxes and also Hermeline. In shank mouse weasels can become years old even up to 9.

Mouse weasel and humans

Since mouse weasels nourish themselves with priority of as parasits regarded rodents, with sympathetic consideration one meets to them. They were also for this purpose held and introduced to some islands and regions, which did not belong to their original habitat. The hunt for its skin plays a very much subordinated role in contrast to related kinds only. Regionally populations can be threatened by destruction of their habitat, global seen rank mouse weasels however not among the threatened kinds.

Literature

  • Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals OF the World. John Hopkins University press, 1999 ISBN 0801857899

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