Myospalax myospalax 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Spalacidae

Scientific Name: Myospalax myospalax (Laxmann, 1773)
Common Name(s):
English Siberian Zokor, Altai Zokor
Myospalax laxmanni Beckmann, 1769

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-08
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Tsytsulina, K.
Listed as Least Concern, however in some isolated parts of the range the population and area of occupancy are declining. Considered Near Threatened in some parts of Kazakhstan and Russia.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:It is distributed in east Kazakhstan and south of Western Siberia (Russia). The range is fragmented and declining.
Countries occurrence:
Kazakhstan; Russian Federation
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2750
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is common, in some parts rare, in others abundant.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits steppes, including those with shrubs, rare forests, meadows and sometimes arable fields. Distribution is connected to soft meadow soils and rich grass vegetation. It avoids dry steppes, rocky and rubbly places. In mountains it has been found up to 2750 m. It is an obligate subterranean species, with exception of short foraging expeditions and juvenile dispersal. Burrows have several tiers. Upper level is feeding passages on 5-27 cm under the ground. Lower tier is at 40-110 cm, consist of short passages, store, nest and toilet cells. Diameter of the feeding burrows is 8-13 cm. In total passage length is up to 150 m. Individual areas are separated in spring, but later join one another (Mahmutov 1972). In the burrows there are temporary and permanent (wintering) nests. The latter is always only one and suited at 15-30 cm below ground, near the main exit. It is active usually during dusk and dawn. It feeds on roots and green parts of several dozen of plants. In anthropogenic places, it feeds on cultivated plants. Winter supplies (up to 8 kg) consist of roots, bulbs, and scions of different plants, mainly herbs (Mahmutov 1977). It does not hibernate. Mating ocurs from September-November until March-April (Mahmutov 1970). It has one litter per year with 1-10, usually 3-5 young.
Generation Length (years):2-3

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss due to man-induced activity may significantly influence the area of occupancy in some isolates. Isolated parts of the range are still declining.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This is a secondary commercial species, but recently almost not hunted. It occurs in some protected areas. Further conservation measures in some isolated parts of the range are necessary.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Myospalax myospalax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14119A22277335. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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