Lemmus lemmus 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Lemmus lemmus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Norway Lemming
French Lemming des Toundras
Spanish Leming de Tundra
Mus lemmus Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Notes: Will be transferred to family Cricetidae.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-11
Assessor(s): Henttonen, H.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
A common and widespread species with no major threats. Listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Norway lemming is endemic to Norway, western and northern Sweden, northern Finland, and the Kola peninsula (Russia). It is found on at least some islands. During population outbreaks, it may migrate as far as the Baltic (Hansson 1999). The southern border of the range is not stable due to large migrations that occur occasionally.
Countries occurrence:
Finland; Norway; Russian Federation; Sweden
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a widespread and generally common species within much of its range, although populations undergo major fluctuations in density. The species declined in Sweden in the last decades of the 20th century, but it is thought to have remained stable in other parts of its range (Hansson 1999). It is typical for northern lemmings to have population booms every 20-30 years. In Sweden, intensive grazing was thought to be a problem for the species, but perceived population declines may have been a result of natural population fluctuation: long low phases are common for populations in Sweden, and some large populations have been found in Sweden in recent years (H. Henttonen pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits a variety of alpine and subarctic habitats including peat bogs, dwarf shrub heaths, and sparsely-vegetated slopes and ridges. Habitat use varies seasonally: in summer it prefers very moist habitats, whereas in winter it must use other habitats as wet areas freeze. During mass outbreaks, it can be found in forests, farmland, and even on frozen lakes. Large numbers of migrating lemmings may accumulate next to rivers and lakes that bar their passage, and many drown attempting the crossing (Hansson 1999).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Generation Length (years):0-1

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It has been speculated that heavy grazing by reindeer may have a negative impact on the species in Sweden (Hansson 1999). Climate change may threaten the species in the future (Nowak 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in a number of protected areas. No specific conservation actions are recommended.

Citation: Henttonen, H. 2016. Lemmus lemmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T11481A503146. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided