Meriones dahli 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Meriones dahli Shidlovsky, 1962
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dahl's Jird

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kefelioglu, H. Yigit, N. & Kryštufek, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Tsytsulina, K. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
M. dahli is known from a very restricted area, with extent of occurrence more than 100 km², but less than 5,000 km². Available habitat is fragmented. There is a river between the Turkish and Armenian part of the range, restricting dispersal. The Armenian population is known to be decreasing, current population size in Armenia is not more than 500-1000 individuals in total. The species occurs in sandy habitats and the main threat would be cutting of vegetation for firewood. It is a rare animal, assessed as Endangered (EN B1ab(ii,iii)). May also qualify as Endangered under Criterion C.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from local sandy habitats in the border area of Armenia and Turkey. Possibly Azerbaijan, because it was found near Sadarak village, which is near the border of Armenia and Republic of Nakhichevan (a part of Azerbaijan). In Turkey it is known from only one location (on the plain north of the Ağri Mountain) in Turkey (N. Yigit pers. comm. 2007, Demirsoy et al. 2006).The range consists of several separated areas.

In 1960s total area of occupancy was less than 300 ha (Adamyan et al., 1976). In 1970-80 the area of occupancy sharply declined due to agricultural activity.
Countries occurrence:
Armenia; Turkey
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Armenia, estimates in the 1960s found 20 to 90/ha and in the 1990s, 2-5/ha in the 1990s. It is rare in Turkey (Demirsoy et al. 2006). In Armenia total number used to fluctuate from 500 to 6000 individuals (Dyatlov et al., 1987). More recently, Saakyan (Biodiversity Centre ) noticed extensive habitat loss due to agricultural activities and estimates that current population size in Armenia is not more than 500-1000 individuals in total. Population size is still declining due to human activities.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabit areas of hillocky, slightly fixed sands from 600 to 1000 m. In coastal sands lives among tamarisk shrubs with mixed grasses and herbs. In piedmont area dominate Calligonus and Achillea shrubs with mixed grasses and herbs. Feed on green parts and seeds of various plants. Winter supplies consist mainly of seeds.
There are two types of burrows: permanent and shelter. Shelter burrows are simple and shallow, consist of one passage without widening. Permanent burrows are more complex, with 4-5 exits, passage length could be up to 7 m. Nest is at 0,5-2 m below the ground. In wintering burrow up to 5 individuals can hibernate.
Reproduction starts at the end of March - beginning of April. Gestation is 20-22 days. There are two reproduction peaks, in April and in July, however, adult females can have 3 litters per season. Litter size is 2-7, more often 4-6.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a rare animal restricted to sandy habitats with sparse, shrubby vegetation. It is susceptible to cutting of vegetation for firewood. Overgrazing and agricultural expansion are likely to threaten the population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Turkey, the species is not in any protected areas, but there is one nearby (Agri Mountain N.P.). Listed as rare species in Red List of Armenian SSR (1990). In 1958 nature reserve "Gorovanskie peski" was established where Meriones dahli is one of the major protected species. More conservation measures for this species are urgently needed.

Citation: Kefelioglu, H. Yigit, N. & Kryštufek, B. 2008. Meriones dahli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T13162A3415328. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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