Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Meriones meridianus
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1773)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Mid-day Gerbil, Mid-day Jird

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Batsaikhan, N., Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N. & Sheftel, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
A widespread species with no major threats. Assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed in sand deserts in the western Caspian Sea region (Russian Federation), Kazakhstan, Central Asia, northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, northern China and Mongolia. In Mongolia, the species occurs throughout southern Mongolia and in Great Lakes Depression in the west of the country.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; China; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Russian Federation; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1600
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. Depending on winter weather conditions and the availability of essential fodder crops, density could fluctuate by ten times or more. Like other gerbil species, Meriones meridianus is a natural carrier of plague and other diseases. Population size in this species is monitored by plague control agencies.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Distributed in sand deserts, including fragmented alluvial and deluvial sands. Most abundant in hilly deserts and sandy areas with shrub cover, including small sand tracts in the steppe zone in the western part of the range. In spring and summer it is nocturnal, but in autumn (while foraging for winter) it remains active all day. Burrows are usually excavated under the roots of shrubs. Congregates in large colonies with pronounced social structure. Feeds mostly on seeds, sometimes on insects. Breeding period differs in northern and southern parts of the range. In northern parts it lasts from April until September, with two peaks in spring and autumn. In southern parts the reproductive period occurs from February or March until beginning of October, and in favourable conditions it may last throughout the year. Females that are at least a year old usually give birth to three litters per year; young females give birth once, rarely twice a year. Litter size is about 6 young.
Systems: Terrestrial
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threat to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas in different parts of its range. Approximately 17% of the species’ range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas.

Citation: Batsaikhan, N., Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N. & Sheftel, B. 2008. Meriones meridianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T13165A3416424. . Downloaded on 10 October 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