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Sicista betulina

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA DIPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Sicista betulina
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1779)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Birch Mouse
French Siciste Des Bouleaux, SICISTE DES BOULEAUX
Spanish Ratón Listado Nórdico, RATÓN LISTADO NÓRDICO

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Meinig, H., Zagorodnyuk, I., Henttonen, H., Zima, J. & Coroiu, I.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a large range. The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers), even though the species is rare in parts of its range. Population trends are poorly known, but it is not believed to approach the threshold for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, it is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sicista betulina has a large range extending from Denmark, Norway and Austria in the west to Lake Baikal (Russia) in the east, and from the Arctic Circle south to the Carpathian Mountains (Panteleyev 1998, Pucek 1999). Records from the Ussuri region of China are considered dubious (Pucek 1999). In Europe, isolated relict populations occur in the Scandinavian peninsula, Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), the Alps (Austria and Allgäu, Germany) and the Carpathians, but the main range extends east from Baltic Countries, Poland and the Czech Republic into European Russia (Pucek 1999, Syvertsen 2003). In Austria and adjacent Czech Republic (Bavarian-Bohemian forest) there is an isolated population. It occurs from sea level to 2,200 m in the eastern Alps (Spitzenberger 2002).
Countries:
Native:
Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; Georgia; Germany; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Mongolia; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Slovakia; Sweden; Ukraine
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In western parts of the range it is generally a rare species, although it may be locally quite frequent. In eastern parts of the range (e.g. Russia, Ukraine) the species is very common. In western parts of the range there are a number of very small and isolated subpopulations, some of which are considered to be evolutionarily significant units (Meinig 2004). No cyclic fluctuations have been recorded, and interannual variation in population density is less than tenfold (Pucek 1999). In Romania, the population is estimated at approximately 1,000 individuals, and Rodna National Park has a very stable population (Botnariuc and Tatole 2005). In Finland it is considerd to be increasing (H. Henttonen pers. comm. 2006). Population trends elsewhere are not known. The species may often go unrecorded, as it is cryptic and hard to trap (Pucek 1982, Spitzenberger 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The range of this birch mouse covers a variety of habitats including boreal and montane forests, subalpine meadows and tundra (Pucek 1999). In Romania, the species occurs in birch forest and pine forest with dense ground vegetation (I. Coroiu pers. comm. 2006). In Germany it occurs in alpine regions and forest bogs (H. Meinig pers. comm. 2006). It has been suggested that the species spends summer months in wet meadow habitat and moves to forests in winter (Nowak 1999). It hibernates in underground burrows for at least six months each year, losing up to half its weight during this time (Nowak 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Agriculture may be a problem in the northern part of the species' range in Germany. In Romania, deforestation is the main threat. Elsewhere threats are not known, and the species is not considered to be under serious threat at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species directive. It is legally protected under national legislation in a number of countries (e.g. Romania), and is included in national Red Lists of many range states (e.g. Germany, Denmark, Romania, Czech Republic, Lithuania). It occurs in a number of protected areas. Monitoring of populations is needed, especially at the western edge of the species' range.

Citation: Meinig, H., Zagorodnyuk, I., Henttonen, H., Zima, J. & Coroiu, I. 2008. Sicista betulina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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