Yellow-bellied weasel camera trap discovery in Cambodia


This video is called Saving Asia’s Wildlife – Cambodia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Yellow-bellied weasel makes a surprise appearance in Cambodia

A research team got more than they expected when they found that their camera traps had captured the first photograph of the elusive yellow-bellied weasel in Cambodia.

The image was captured on a camera trap, which was part of a joint camera trapping initiative by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).

The research team ­­– led by FFI field biologist Channa Phan – were conducting a study of clouded leopards in the Central Cardamoms Protected Forest in southern Cambodia. Finding the weasel outside its usual range came as a surprise, as it was previously believed that the animal was found only in the pine forests of Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“When I first saw this image on the computer screen I wasn’t sure what it was,” explains Phan of the finding. “The picture wasn’t very clear but I could see it was not a yellow-throated marten, which is the only other weasel-like animal known from these mountains. We had to consult with experts before we learned what it was and that it was a new record for Cambodia.”

Will Duckworth, IUCN SSC Red List Authority Coordinator for Small Carnivores, commented on the significance of finding the weasel in this area: “Although the species is known from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, there are few records,” he says. “This new Cambodian discovery extends the weasel’s southern range.”

Currently the yellow-bellied weasel is rated as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN Red List. However in over 8,000 camera trap nights undertaken by the team, they recoded the weasel just three times, raising questions over whether the weasel [is] truly rare, or whether it is simply very good at avoiding camera traps.

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