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Lasiopodomys brandtii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Lasiopodomys brandtii
Species Authority: (Radde, 1861)
Common Name(s):
English Brandt's Vole
Synonym(s):
Lasiopodomys brandtii Bannikov, 1948 subspecies hangaicus
Microtus brandtii (Kastschenko, 1912) subspecies aga
Microtus warringtoni (Miller, 1913)
Taxonomic Notes: Species taxonomy needs revision. Currently three subspecies are recognized: L. b. brandtii, L. b. hangaicus and L. b. aga.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Avirmed, D., Batsaikhan, N. & Tinnin, D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Tsytsulina, K. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Rationale for assessment: This species has a large population size and a wide distribution. No decline in population size has been detected, and there are no known widespread major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Inhaits open landscapes (steppes, grasslands) on planes and mountains (up to 2000 m asl) in Russian Federation, NE China, and C and E Mongolia.
Countries:
Native:
China; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species experiences cyclic population outbreaks every 3-14 years. The frequency of outbreaks varies regionally, for example, in eastern regions it occurs roughly every 4 yrs. In the last 50 years, 17 severe outbreaks have been recorded in Inner Mongolia (written in 2004), and the frequency of outbreaks has increased over the past 20 years compared to the previous 20 years, co-inciding with a 5 fold increase in livestock numbers. They are also prey for many carnivores including foxes, Pallas' cats and polecats, but predation pressure doesn't influence population size except during low density years.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits steppe, forest and semi-desert habitats in Mongolia, associated with poa-wormwood and poa vegetation. Known to inhabit grasslands in China and and dry steppes and grasslands in Russia around the borders of the country. The density and height of vegetation influences habitat selection in this species, and they will favour short vegetation between 30 and 130 mm in height. It has been shown that population growth rates are slower in areas of short grass where little food is available. However, if vegetation is too long, this can disrupts social interactions and predator detection, causing a lowered growth rate. This is a keystone species in the steppe ecosystem, aerating soil through burrowing and encouraging plant diversity. This diurnal species lives in dens with many entrances and separated chambers. Family den might be up to 30 m long. Feed on vegetative and underground parts of plants, and may hoard more than 10 kg of those per family.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Considered a pest as population outbreaks of this species can compete with livestock for resources and spread disease. However, such outbreaks are more likely to occur in overgrazed areas, so they cause little additional environmental damage. Poisoning campaigns using Bromadiolone are being phased out because they have little effect on this species, but impact significantly on non-target species, e.g. livestock and humans. Underwent a major range expansion during the twentieth century, and experiences population fluctuations cycling over 9-11 years (Dawaa et al., 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Legal Status: Approximately 4% of the species’ range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas.

Citation: Avirmed, D., Batsaikhan, N. & Tinnin, D. 2008. Lasiopodomys brandtii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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