The Mustelidae remains from 35 Late Pleistocene sites and 151 Holocene sites from the Urals and Western Siberia have been studied. The following species inhabited the Urals and Western Siberia throughout the Late Pleistocene (MIS 5 - 2) and Holocene (MIS 1): Martes zibellina, Gulo gulo, Mustela erminea, Mustela nivalis, and Mustela eversmanii. Meles meles and Lutra lutra were also present in the Urals during the Late Pleistocene interstadials. Besides the abovementioned species, Martes martes and Mustela lutreola lived there in the Eem interglacial (MIS 5e). The Holocene was characterised by the richest Mustelidae fauna. During this period, Mustela sibirica and Mustela putorius became part of the faunal composition, while Martes foina was its part only for a short time. At the onset of the Late Holocene (2500 – 1500 BP), the Asian badger (Meles leucurus) forced out the European badger (Meles meles) from the entire area of the Western Siberia, Urals and Volga-Ural region. Changes in the Mustelidae faunal composition occurred due to changes of the range. The ranges underwent contraction (Mustela eversmanii, Meles meles), expansion (Mustela sibirica, Mustela putorius, Meles leucurus), and fluctuations (Martes martes, Martes foina, Mustela lutreola, Meles meles, Lutra lutra). Changes in the ranges of almost all the species resulted from climatic changes. The Asian badger (Meles leucurus) forced out the European badger (Meles meles) as a result of a competitive exclusion.
This study was supported by RFBR 15-04-03882