Murie, Olaus J. (1959) FAUNA OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS AND ALASKA PENINSULA, 1936-38, U.S. Dept. Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington. pg. 375
Weasel: Mustela erminea
Mustela erminea arctica
Aleut name (dialect?) : Samikakh (Geoghegan)
Aleut Iliamna Village: Ameetahduk (Osgood)
Indian, Iliamna Village: Tahkiak and Kahoolcheenah (Osgood)
Russian: Gor-no-stai-e (Buxton)
Hall (1951) has placed the weasels in three groups: The least weasels, rixosa; the long-tailed weasels, frermta; and the short- tailed weasels, erminea. Accordingly, the weasel of Alaska Peninsula becomes Mustela erminea arctica.
These weasels occur throughout the entire length of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island, as well as the Kodiak-Afognak group. They are common on Unimak Island but have not been found on any islands farther west. Specimens have been obtained at the following localities: Nushagak, 1 by Osgood; Ugashik River, 6 by McKay, and 1 by Hanna ; Kakwok River, 1 by Hanna ; Lake Aleknagik, 1 by Hanna; Lake Weelooluk, 1 by Hanna; Becharof Lake, 3 by Osgood and Maddren ; Chignik, 7 by J. Oliver ; Frosty Peak, 1 by Wetmore ; Unimak Island, 1 each by Gardner, Murie, and Beals.
Crabb (1922) reports a specimen from Pavlof Bay. No doubt, there are other specimens, obtained by various collectors, that I have not examined. Weasels are reported to occur on Kodiak Island, but specimens were not available. Jack Benson, agent of the Alaska Game Commission, in a report dated June 30, 1940, commented that weasels on Kodiak and Afognak were not as plentifulthat year. In 1936, on a visit to Kodiak and Afognak Islands, we were assured that weasels occur there, and we were shown a photograph of a live weasel as proof.
Mustela rixosa: Least Weasel
Mustela rixosa rixosa
Though this little weasel has been seldom observed in this area, it is known to occur as far west as Unimak Island. In 1925, a trapper informed me that he had caught a least weasel near Izembek Bay and had intended sending it to the Biological Survey, but he said that the specimen had been neglected and lost.
In 1941, Beals reported that this weasel, though not plentiful on Unimak Island, is known to most of the residents there. He saw one at St. Catherine Cove and another at False Pass; the latter was taken for a specimen. This animal was seen trying to capture snow buntings, but it was not successful.