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Distribution of the two subspecies of weasel Mustela nivalis nivalis and Mustela nivalis vulgaris Mammalia, Carnivora Mustelidae in Val Bregaglia Canton Grisons, Switzerland La distribuzione delle due sottospecie di Donnola Mustela nivalis nivalis e Mustela nivalis vulgaris Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae nella Val Bregaglia svizzera Canton Grigioni, Svizzera



Distribution of the two subspecies of weasel Mustela nivalis nivalis and Mustela nivalis vulgaris Mammalia, Carnivora Mustelidae in Val Bregaglia Canton Grisons, Switzerland La distribuzione delle due sottospecie di Donnola Mustela nivalis nivalis e Mustela nivalis vulgaris Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae nella Val Bregaglia svizzera Canton Grigioni, Svizzera



Naturalista Valtellinese, 16: 35-45



In the present paper, the distribution of the two subspecies of weasel Mustela nivalis nivalis Linnaeus, 1766 e Mustela nivalis vulgaris Erxleben, 1777 in Swiss portion of Val Bregaglia is documented. On the basis of data collected over 35 years, M. n. nivalis is shown to be present between 800 and 2580 m a.s.l., while M. n. vulgaris is found between 770 and 1490 m. Therefore, in the study area, the subsp. nivalis seems to prefer higher altitudes, characterised by a cold climate and usually snow-covered during winter, while the subsp. vulgaris appears to use habitats at lower altitudes, where the climate is more temperate and, consequently, snow-covered for fewer weeks of the year. These preferences are confirmed by the analysis of the percentage of observations of the two subspecies in four different thermal categories, based on the thermal classes described for Bregaglia by SCHREIBER et al. (1977). Our analysis clearly shows the influence of temperature, and correlated ecological gradients, on the distribution of the two subspecies; in particular, they shown to be sympatric in thermal category n. 2 (defined as 'level of field-cultivation'). Finally, local distribution has been compared to that of the rest of the Canton Grisons, Switzerland and Scandinavia, in order to better understand the mechanisms of pigmentation and the ecological relationships between the two subspecies.

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Accession: 038156898

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La distribuzione delle due sottospecie di Donnola Mustela nivalis nivalis e Mustela nivalis vulgaris (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae) nella Val Bregaglia svizzera (Canton Grigioni, Svizzera). Naturalista Valtellinese 16: 35-45, 2005

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