[12], As they have thin fur and long bodies, the selection of a nest is important to Japanese weasels. Diet analysis. Diet of the Weasel. Sekiguchi Keishi, Ogura Go, Sasaki Takeshi, Nagayama Yasuhiko, Tsuha Kojun, Kawashima Yoshitsugu (2002) ". (2010). [15][16] The wound is described as crescent shaped and spontaneously appeared during thunderstorms as a result of temporary vacuum. Translation: sickle weasel Habitat: primarily the Japan Alps, but potentially anywhere that weasels are found Diet: carnivorous; feeds on small wild animals. Its fur is dark brown in summer but white in snowy, winter conditions. 10.2326/osj.8.139. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA. [9], The introduction of the species in some cases, especially Miyake Island has inadvertently affected population of Japanese Bush Warblers as they hunt eggs and chicks of the bird. Japanese weasels are sexually dimorphic with the males weighing approximately three times that of females. They are not at all found within urban Tokyo. Japanese weasels are skilfull hunters and will chase down their prey by any means. Berkeley: University of California Press. Japanese Weasels are prey to some larger animals. After the gestation period of about 30 days, the female gives birth to 2-12 kits, but usually 5 or 6. Ermine is the common name given to this small northern weasel with a short, black-tipped tail, long body and short legs. The least weasel is the world’s smallest carnivorous animal. [15], The existence of kamaitachi has been accepted from as early as 1911 as the British Medical Journal reported on what was referred to as "Kamaitachi Disease" which was labelled as a spontaneous wound. Japanese weasels are solitary and very territorial animals. [9] Their stomachs can only hold 10-20 grams of food and as small rodents weigh 15-30 grams, Japanese weasels cannot eat more than one small rodent in a sitting. [6] Further, they are not typically found within big cities. [5] They are not affected greatly by altitude and have an upper elevation limit of 336 metre. The weasel is considered an invasive species in New Zealand. [12][7] Additionally, there is a difference between the diets of males and females due to their sexual dimorphism. Key words: conifer plantation, Japanese weasel, large scale, river bank, winter diet. A decrease in human activity in rural areas leads to the return of Japanese weasels to that area. [7], The diet of the Japanese weasel involves a mix of animals including mice, reptiles, crayfish and frogs. Japanese weasels are carnivores. [11], One of the dangers of urbanization to Japanese weasels is that their intolerance to artificial food. The species typically occurs in mountainous or forested areas near water. Their dens are lined with grass or feathers and are known to store food in dedicated caches. [7] Average lifespan of a Japanese weasel is highly dependent on the availability of food and to a lesser extent other factors that affect its life. However, seasonal change means that the most consumed food seasonally is coleoptera insects in spring, fruits in summer, orthoptera insects and crustaceans in autumn and fish and fruit in winter. [5] The only situations that force them to leave their solitary lifestyle is cases of mating and mothers feeding their young. Ornithological Science. [7], A countryside Japanese legend states that after reaching the age of 100, a Japanese weasel will transform into a Japanese Marten (Martes melampus). Certain species of weasel and ferrets, have been reported to perform the mesmerizing weasel ‘war dance’, after fighting other animals, or acquiring food from competing creatures. No, it was 100% scientific at the base. The collected carcasses were immediately frozen and stored at —20°C until the time of analysis. [5][12] This occurs when multiple prey are visible to weasels as their willingness to hunt is instantaneous and instinctual when prey enters their line of sight regardless of hunger levels. After this time they are fully weaned and independent. should The vision of Japanese weasels is unimpeded by the dark. In terms of weasel diet, mammals occured most frequently in relative volume and single occupancy in faeces and most often observed in conifer plantations along river banks. Japanese weasels are active during the day and night. The fur on the throat is usually white in color. (2005), Sasaki, H., Ohta, K., Aoi, T., Watanabe, S., Hosoda, T., Suzuki, H., … Oda, S. (2014). Kaneko, Y., Masuda, R. & Abramov, A.V. [3] Its diet includes mice, frogs, reptiles, insects and crayfish. [8] Their temperament and activity is largely controlled by a balancing of several essential needs: finding food maintain metabolism, avoiding harsh weather and predators, finding mates  and feeding their young. Predation of Bird Nests by Introduced Japanese Weasel Mustela itatsi on an Island. 8. These critters are quite special because they normally have brown fur, but it changes to white during the winter. Their diet includes mice, frogs, reptiles, insects and crayfish. https://doi.org/10.3106/041.039.0302. [12] Despite this, there is no significant observable difference of tail-ratios between the sexes. Kaneko et al., Japanese weasel diet in a suburb 99 land such as Quercus serrata and Q. glauca , pine forest ( Pinus densiflora ), conifer plantation such as Cryptomeria 鎌鼬 かまいたち. Despite this, they are capable of avoiding confrontation by retreating from areas where another weasel’s scent remains. [9], The Japanese Weasel has been used by the governments of both Russia and Japan as an aid for vermin control. They eat some non-meat food such as berries, seeds and fruits but generally only when hungry. Their fur is orange-brown with darker markings on the head. The two species are very similar in appearance but differ in the ratio of tail length to head and body length. It is often confused with the Siberian weasel which has a different ratio of tail to head and body length. Prior to the introduction of the Japanese weasel, predation towards the warbler rarely occurred. [12], Japanese Weasels investigate holes and cracks to hunt out smaller prey. Japanese weasels are polygynous which means that one males mates with more than one female during the breeding season. They can also be found in grasslands, villages, and suburbs, but try to avoid big cities. The white fur is called "ermine," and even where the animal called a "stoat," when it has its winter coat it may be known as ermine, or being "in ermine." The population of the Japanese weasel has seen a decline of 25% over the last 3 generations which has been used to justify its status as near threatened on the IUCN Red List. [7], Japanese weasels have been responsible for the protection of tree saplings in winter as they hunt the rodents that chew on the roots when hibernating snakes and owls can’t control the rodent population. [12] Fish and insects constitute a part of their diet throughout all seasons.

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