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Myospalax psilurus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SPALACIDAE

Scientific Name: Myospalax psilurus
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1874)
Common Name(s):
English Transbaikal Zokor, Manchurian Zokor
Synonym(s):
Myospalax epsilanus Thomas, 1912

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Shar, S., Tsytsulina, K. & Lkhagvasuren, D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a large population size and a wide distribution. It is considered very rare in the Russian Far East part of its range, and populations are declining there. Elsewhere in the range, population status is not known. Overall it is considered unlikely that the population is declining at a sufficient rate (close to 30% in 10 years) to warrant listing as Near Threatened under criterion A. Hence it is assessed as Least Concern, but monitoring is needed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed in Transbaikalia, E Mongolia (Halh River and Nömrög River Basin in Ikh Hyangan Mountain Range), E and C China, and Russian Far East.
Countries:
Native:
China; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Very rare in the northern and north-eastern (Russian Far East) parts of the range. Elsewhere in the range, no information is available.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits arable fields, river valleys with meadows and steppe patches, derelict lands not used for 3-4 years, cereal and herbs meadows near mountain rivers and wells, steppes with oak and birch, foothills with rich vegetation, rare oak, aspen, black birch (Betula daurica) forests on top of hills. Specifically to Mongolia, mountain-steppe, steppe, desert and grassland regions are preferentially selected. Avoids rubbly soils. Burrows have two tiers. Feeding passages are on 12-20 cm under the ground. Lower tier is at 40-110 cm, consist of short passages, storae, nest and toilet cells. Diameter of the burrows of young zokors is 4-5 cm, those of adults is 8-12 cm. Active usually during dusk and dawn. Most intesive digging activity occurs in May-June, where youngs are dispersing. Mate in April - beginning of May (Kostenko, 1970). Has one litter per year with 2-4 pups. In Spring and first half of summer youngs live with female. By october (when the body size is about 20 cm) young start to dig their own burrows nearby mother's. Next spring they become mature and disperse. Feed on cereal roots and green parts. In anthropogenic places feeds on cultivated plants. Winter supplies (up to 10 kg) consist of roots, bulbs, and scions of different plants, mainly herbs. Sometimes consume animal food: in stomach of several animals were found remains of Apodemus and Phodopus (Kostenko, 1970).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Agricultural reclamation destroys natural habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed in the China Red List as Least Concern. Listed as a Rare species (category II = Endangered) in the Red List of Russia (as M. epsilanus). Approximately 31% of the species’ range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas.

Citation: Shar, S., Tsytsulina, K. & Lkhagvasuren, D. 2008. Myospalax psilurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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