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Eospalax fontanierii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SPALACIDAE

Scientific Name: Eospalax fontanierii
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1867)
Common Name(s):
English Chinese Zokor, Plateau Zokor
Synonym(s):
Myospalax fontanierii (Milne-Edwards, 1867)
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously included in Myospalax (Smith and Xie 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, abundant, it occurs in many protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is a widespread endemic of China, occurring in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Shandong (Smith and Xie 2008), Nei Mongol, and Beijing (CSIS 2008).
Countries:
Native:
China (Beijing, Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It has been characterized as an abundant small mammal of the Tibetan Plateau (Zhang 2007). Densities in Qinghai, in the 1980s, were estimated at 5-70nanimals/ha (Zhang 2007). In the 1990s as a result of eradication programs in Qinghai, populations were estimated at less than 31.6% of their former abundance (Zhang 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in steppe grasslands (Smith and Xie 2008), alpine grasslands and shrublands, agricultural lands, "banks and wasteland" (Zhang 2007). Recent studies suggest that this species acts as an "ecosystem engineer", increasing local environmental heterogeneity at the landscape level, aiding in the formation, aeration and mixing of soil, and enhancing infiltration of water into the soil thus curtailing erosion (Smith and Xie 2008). It is also an important prey base for other species (Smith and Xie 2008).

Parturition starts in early spring (Smith and Xie 2008). One to seven offspring are produced per litter, with one to three litters each year (Smith and Xie 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species throughout its range. It was targeted in the 1990's as a pest species in the province of Qinghai, resulting in substantial declines (Zhang 2007). It is not known if the practice occurs in other provinces in which it occurs.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in Jigongshan (Xinyang) and Pangquangou Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008) and is likely to be present in additional protected areas. In China, it has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Eospalax fontanierii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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