Tim Melling – Siberian Weasel

Tim writes: This is a Siberian Weasel (Mustela sibirica) photographed at night by torchlight in the forests at Labahe, Sichuan in China.  It was at an altitude of c2000m above sea level.  This is the one and only individual that I have seen, and judging by the scarcity of wild photographs, it appears that they are not seen very frequently.  They inhabit forests across a large part of Asia, and are largely nocturnal, feeding on small mammals.  There are eleven subspecies across its range, and the one in Sichuan is moupinensis, distinguished by its black tail tip and greater incidence of white on the muzzle.  Other photographs show a dark tip to its long, bushy tail.  We picked this one up in torchlight by its eye-shine and managed to lure it out by making squeaking noises like a mouse.  The photograph was taken without flash at 51,200 ISO, 1/640, f5.6, 420mm.

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