Lagurus lagurus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Lagurus lagurus Pallas, 1773
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Steppe Lemming, STEPPE LEMMING, Steppe Vole, STEPPE VOLE
Taxonomic Notes: It is the only species in the genus Lagurus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-06
Assessor(s): Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N., Zagorodnyuk, I., Batsaikhan, N. & Sheftel, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
This species has a wide range. Population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers), as the species is described as common in at least parts of its range. Although declines have been reported in some parts of the range, it is not believed to approach the threshold for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, it is evaluated as Least Concern. However, in Ukraine this species is considered to be threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lagurus lagurus are recorded in Ukraine, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, China and Mongolia, mainly distributed in plain and mountain steppes and semi-deserts from Dnepr River to Tuva and to Tien Shan in the south. Occurs from sea level to 2,800 m. Regional distribution: Dzungarian Govi Desert, Shargyn Govi in Mongol Altai Mountain Range, Trans Altai Govi Desert and Uvs Lake Depression in northern Great Lakes Depression (Sokolov and Orlov 1980).
Countries occurrence:
China; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Russian Federation; Ukraine
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A typical steppe rodent. Very abundant at the beginning of the 20th century in Ukraine (Migulin 1938), but now restricted to easternmost regions. In Russia populations are fragmented, but the species remains a considerable pest of arable and pasture land. Declines in some populations may be related to climate change, specifically to increasingly moist conditions. Since the 1960s, irrigation and planting of trees to protect fields has changed the microclimate for this species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits steppes and semi-deserts, where it forms large colonies that dig branched burrows extending over hundreds of square meters. Feeds on narrow-leaved cereals and absinths. Also consumes bulbs, tubers and sometimes insects. Breeds up to six times a year, typically with 5-6 young in each litter (maximum 14). Marked population fluctuations are a characteristic feature of this species; during population peaks it is nomadic.
Generation Length (years):1
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Destruction and alteration of habitats by humans (including climate change); pesticides. Possible habitat degradation through grazing by increasing numbers of livestock, and possible competition for resources with other rodent species in some areas. Drying of water sources and droughts also threaten this species, although it remains unclear if these represent natural environmental changes or are driven by anthropogenic activity. None of the above are thought to constitute a major threat to the species at present, although they may have a negative impact on local populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is an abundant species throughout most of the distribution area, but is listed as Critically Endangered in Ukraine where it partly inhabits protected areas. Approximately 17% of the species’ range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N., Zagorodnyuk, I., Batsaikhan, N. & Sheftel, B. 2016. Lagurus lagurus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T11179A115100995. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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