Pygeretmus zhitkovi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Dipodidae

Scientific Name: Pygeretmus zhitkovi (Vinogradov, 1937)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Fat-tailed Jerboa, Zhitkov's Jerboa
Pygeretmus schitkovi (Vinogradov, 1930)
Pygeretmus shitkovi (Kuznetsov, 1930) [spelling difference, still under review]
Pygeretmus shitkovi (Kuznetsov, 1930)
Taxonomic Notes: "Corbet (1978) regarded the emendation of shitkovi to zhitkovi invalid, but other workers disagree; there has been no ruling by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature" (Holden and Musser 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened 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)
Although this species has a small range compared to other members of its genus, its extent of occurrence and population size are nevertheless well above the thresholds for criteria B and C, respectively. There is no recent data on population trend. It is a habitat specialist. Precautionarily assessed as Near Threatened, as its habitat may be declining as a result of climate change, but Least Concern may be a more appropriate assessment. More data is needed. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A3c.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This jerboa is endemic to SE Kazakhstan, occurring in the Lake Balkhash area. Posibly occur in NE China (Gromov and Erbaeva, 1995).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:100,000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total number is relatively small due to small range, however, local abundance could be high. In spring it cold be up to 20-30 idividuals per ha, in autumn 50-60 individuals per ha (Mazin 1977). In western part of the range population size was stable, while in the eastern part of the range the population experienced sharp decline in the 1960s after several rainy years that resulted in steppe expansion (Vorontsov et al. 1969). More recent data on population trend is not available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Stenobiont. Inhabits clay, often saline areas along low banks of drying river beds and lakes. Habitat is covered with only Anabasis, Atriplex, Camophoroma, Climacoptera, Kochia, and Salsola vegetation. The highest density is at such areas with rich succulent vegetation. Sightings from other habitat types (clay or rubbly areas in sandy deserts, agricultural fields) are due to dispersal of young on their way to more suitable habitats (Shenbrot et al., 1995).

Feeds mostly on green parts of plants, and mainly on succulent Climacoptera brachiata. The percentage of seeds in the diet increases from mid-summer onwards. Has obligate hibernation, which usually starts at the end of October. If the year is very warm, can be active until beginning of November. Hibernation ends in mid-March, plus or minus two weeks depending on temperature. Has three types of burrows: permanent, wintering and shelters. Permanent burrows have several passages and nest. Shelters are simple, with only one passage. Reproduction starts right after hibernation. Second reproduction cycle starts always in the same time, at the end of June. Gestation is 25-27 days, litter size is 3-8 (usually 4-5) young. Age at maturity in spring-born is about 4 months, in autumn-born is about 7 months.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss due to climate change (higher precipitation level) resulting in steppe expansion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in some protected areas.

Citation: Tsytsulina, K. 2008. Pygeretmus zhitkovi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18944A8732611. . Downloaded on 22 September 2017.
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