Mustelidae – Mustelids

Weasels, badgers, otters, wolverines, and their allies.

Mustelids are one of the oldest carnivores showing tremendous diversification over millions of years—consequently, the largest Carnivora family. Most are ground dwellings, some are swimmers (otters and minks), and some are adept climbers and diggers. They generally have elongated bodies with relatively tiny legs and flaunt the thickest fur coat.

Mustelids are fierce meat-eating predators (wolverine is a strong reminder of this character), while some are kept as pets, too (otters). Around 40% of Mustelid species are considered highly threatened because of habitat destruction and hunting, while other species are so abundant that they’re considered pests.

The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is an endangered species that nearly went extinct but is recovering through reintroduction and captive breeding.