Myospalax psilurus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Spalacidae

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-09
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Lkhagvasuren, D., Shar, S. & Tsytsulina, K.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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 occurrence:
China; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Additional data:
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.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).
Generation Length (years):2-3

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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Myospalax psilurus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14120A115121026. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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