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Myospalax myospalax

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SPALACIDAE

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Tsytsulina, K.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
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.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed in E Kazakhstan and south of Western Siberia (Russia). The range is fragmented and declining.
Countries:
Native:
Kazakhstan; Russian Federation
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common, in some parts rare, in other abundant species. Secondary commercial species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabit steppes, including those with shrubs, rare forests, meadows and sometimes arable fields. Distribution is connected to soft meadow soils and rich grass vegetation. Avoid dry steppes, rocky and rubbly places. In mountains found up to 2750 m. Obligate subterranean species, with exeption 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. Active usually during dusk and dawn. Feed on roots and green parts of several dozen of plants. In anropogenic places feeds on cultivated plants. Winter supplies (up to 8 kg) consist of roots, bulbs, and scions of different plants, mainly herbs. (Mahmutov, 1977). Does not hibernate. Mate from September-November till March-April (Mahmutov, 1970). Has one litter per year with 1-10, usually 3-5 young.
Systems: Terrestrial

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: Secondary commercial species, but recently almost not hunted. Occurs in some protected areas. Further conservation measures in some isolated parts of the range are necessary.

Citation: Tsytsulina, K. 2008. Myospalax myospalax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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