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Microtus guentheri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Microtus guentheri
Species Authority: (Danford & Alston, 1880)
Common Name(s):
English Günther's Vole
French Campagnol Méditerannéen
Spanish Topillo De Günther
Synonym(s):
Microtus mustersi Hinton, 1926
Taxonomic Notes: Includes mustersi (Musser and Carleton 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Amr, Z., Shenbrot, G., Hutterer, R., Amori, G., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
A widespread and common species with no major threats. It is tolerant of a range of habitat types, both natural and man-made and is hence listed as Least Concern.

The Libyan population has a very restricted distribution, and may well qualify for a threatened category if it were assessed independently.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Microtus guentheri occurs from the south-east Balkans and Turkey through Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, with an isolated range segment in northern Libya. Within Europe, it has a discontinuous range in southern Serbia (Serbia and Montenegro), F. Y. R. Macedonia, parts of southern and eastern Greece, southern Bulgaria, and Turkish Thrace, and has been recorded from 150 m to 500 m above sea level (Kryštufek 1999, Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005). The relict population occurring in the Cyrenaican Plateau of Libya is found at altitudes of up to 1,500 m, and is considered by some authors to be a separate species M. mustersi. For the current assessment M. mustersi is considered part of Microtus guentheri.

Taxonomic difficulties with this species mean the geographic distribution needs further work and should be considered as provisional at this stage.
Countries:
Native:
Bulgaria; Greece; Israel; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia); Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A common species in south-west Asia; populations fluctuate due to rainfall. In Europe, it occurs in scattered subpopulations which often undergo large fluctuations with steep declines. However, local extinctions have not been recorded. The species is considered locally common in parts of the Balkans. In Asiatic Turkey, very high population densities have been recorded in peak years (Kryštufek 1999). In some localities (e.g. in Israel) it is a serious pest species (B. Kryštufek pers. comm.2007).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits dry grasslands with sparse vegetation on well drained soil. These include both natural and man-made habitats (e.g. dry meadows and pastures) (Kryštufek 1999). Around the type locality it prefers grassy meadows and riverbanks.

In Libya, it occurs in montane valleys of grassland in isolated pockets of the Cyrenaican Plateau, as well as in agricultural areas such as maize fields. This population is zoogeographically distinct, as there are no populations known from coastal Egypt, the only region where this species could have dispersed through (Ranck, 1968). The population in the Plateau is likely a Pleistocene relict, existing here due to the remaining boreal conditions at this high elevation, the only suitable habitat remaining for Microtus species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A lowland species, therefore across most of its range it does not occur in protected areas. In some parts, however, it does occur in protected areas (for example in Greece, and in Libya where most of the species' range lies within the Kouf National Park). No conservation measures are required - this species is considered an agricultural pest.

Citation: Amr, Z., Shenbrot, G., Hutterer, R., Amori, G., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J. 2008. Microtus guentheri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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