Nannospalax leucodon 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Spalacidae

Scientific Name: Nannospalax leucodon (Nordmann, 1840)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Lesser Mole Rat, Lesser Blind Mole Rat
French Spalax Occidental
Spanish Rata-topo Occidental
Spalax leucodon Nordmann, 1840
Taxonomic Source(s): Arslan, A., Kryštufek, Matur, F. and Zima, J. 2016. Review of chromosome races in blind mole rats (|Spalax and Nannospalax). Folia Zoologica 65(4): 249-301.
Taxonomic Notes: It is likely that the species will be split into several species. Taxonomic work needs to be carried out on this group (ehrenbergi, leucodon and nehringi [now xanthodon]).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kryštufek, B. & Amori, G.
Reviewer(s): Temple, H.J. & Amori, G.
Data Deficient because of taxonomic problems. The taxonomy of this species is currently crude and in need of revision. However, if after taxonomic revision the taxon is split into several different species, some of these may warrant listing as threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Lesser Mole Rat occurs from Hungary and the Balkan peninsula through Moldova and the Ukraine to just east of the Dnestr river in Russia. It may also occur outside Europe in northwest Anatolia (Wilson and Reeder 2005). It is found from sea level to 2,400 m (Kryštufek 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Greece; Hungary; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Turkey; Ukraine
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It has undergone range contractions and population declines in Europe. However, there are still areas where it is locally quite abundant. Population densities typically fall in the range of 1-13 individuals per hectare, but values of up to 23 individuals per hectare have been reported (Kryštufek 1999). Nannospalax leucodon is regarded as a superspecies that contains a number of forms that are well-differentiated at both a genotypic and phenotypic level, although their taxonomy remains unresolved. Some of these forms have very restricted ranges, and presumably small populations (Kryštufek 1999, B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The mole rat inhabits steppe grassland, meadows and pastures, in areas with a deep layer of loose, freely-draining soil in which it digs its extensive burrows. It is absent from ploughed land and arable monocultures, although it may be found in agricultural landscapes where there is a mixture of pastures, small crop-fields and orchards. It has a slow reproductive rate, raising litters of only 2-4 young (Kryštufek 1999). Mole-rats of the genera Nannospalax and Spalax can be distinguished from all other rodents by the lack of any external openings for the eyes, although small eyes are present under the skin (Nowak 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The mole-rat is threatened by habitat loss and land-use changes related to agricultural intensification and increased urbanization and infrastructure development. It disappears when natural grasslands or pastures are ploughed up. When it was more common, it was an agricultural pest, and it is still persecuted as such in some areas (Kryštufek 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs within protected areas within its range. Taxonomic research is required (B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2006).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: This species was assessed under the name Spalax leucodon but it is now treated under Nannospalax following Arslan et al. (2016). This amended assessment has been created for the taxonomic change and some other edits have been made to the genus and species names in the text and some spelling errors have been corrected.

Citation: Kryštufek, B. & Amori, G. 2017. Nannospalax leucodon (amended version of 2008 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T14328A113301882. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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