Lemmus sibiricus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lemmus sibiricus
Species Authority: (Kerr, 1792)
Common Name(s):
English Brown Lemming, BROWN LEMMING, Siberian Brown Lemming, SIBERIAN BROWN LEMMING
Spanish Leming De Siberia, LEMING DE SIBERIA
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly broadly defined to encompass not only most Palaearctic forms but also North American populations now considered to be a separate species, L. trimucronatus (Wilson and Reeder 2005). Now three subspecies are recognized: L. s. sibiricus Kerr, 1792 (found in most of the distribution area), L. s. novosibiricus Vinogradov, 1924 (endemic to New Siberia Island) and L. s. portenkoi Tchernyavsky, 1967 (endemic to Wrangel Island).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N. & Sheftel, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
A common and widespread species with no major threats, hence listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed across the Palaearctic tundra zone from the White Sea to Kolyma (Russian Federation); also found on New Siberia Island and Wrangel Island.
Russian Federation (Kamchatka)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A widespread and common species; has marked population cycles with periodicity of 3-4 years.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An abundant species in tundra habitats. Populations reach maximum densities in lowland tundra with substantial moss and sedge cover. Also distributed in wetlands on shrubby tundra foothills, and in wetlands at the edge of the forest zone (Arkhangelsk, Northern Urals, Gyda peninsula, Taimyr). Lives in burrows, forming large colonies. Digs its own burrow, or occupies existing burrows of other species. In winter makes tunnels under snow cover and builds large spherical nests. Feeds on sedges, cotton-grass, green mosses and various shrubs. Reproductive peak starts in June and ends in August, however, during periods of low population density reproduction is extended and starts immediately after snowmelt. Animals that have overwintered die off by the end of the following breeding season. During summer produces 4-5 litters with 5-6 young in each. Like Lemmus lemmus, this species has large population fluctuations with a 3-4 year cycle; however, migrations are less pronounced. In summer dispersal occurs and preferred foraging habitat changes.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species known at present. Climate change may be a problem in the future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas.

Citation: Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N. & Sheftel, B. 2008. Lemmus sibiricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 March 2015.
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