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Spermophilus alashanicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Spermophilus alashanicus
Species Authority: Büchner, 1888
Common Name(s):
English Alashan Ground Squirrel
Synonym(s):
Spermophilus dilutus (Formozov, 1929)
Spermophilus obscurus Büchner, 1888
Spermophilus siccus (G.M. Allen, 1925)
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously included as a subspecies of Spermophilus dauricus (Smith and Xie 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Shar, S., Lkhagvasuren, D. & Smith, A.T.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Johnston, C.H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in Mongolia and China, and occurs at elevations up to 3,200 m asl. In Mongolia, it occurs in the Ikh and Baga Bogd in Valley of the Lakes, and Gurvansaikhan and Öshög mountains in Gobi Altai Mountain Range (Bannikov 1954; Dawaa 1972). In China, it occurs in Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, Nei Mongol (Smith and Xie 2008), Shanxi, and Shaanxi provinces (CSIS 2008).
Countries:
Native:
China (Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi); Mongolia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population data for this species are currently unavailable. In Mongolia, it is believed to be most abundant around Gurvansaikhan Mountain.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits steppe, mountain foothills, and alpine meadows, at elevations up to 3,200 m asl. It is often associated with couch grasses, pea shrubs and false sedges, particularly Amygdalus pedunculata and Amygdalus polyrrhizum. This species is not found in areas with dense forest cover (Nowak 1991). In China, it can be found in desert habitat occupying dry sandy areas, as well as "grasslands at the edge of the Gobi" (Smith and Xie 2008).

This species is typically brown or grey in color, with small pale spots on the back and a pale underside. The coat becomes lighter in summer, with the head and shoulders turning pale chestnut (Nowak 1991). Internal cheek pouches are used for carrying food. Its diet consists of herbs and other plants (Smith and Xie 2008). The legs and tail are short, and it has a head-rump measurement of 22-23 cm (Sokolov and Orlov 1980). It is a diurnal species that hibernates (Smith and Xie 2008). Litter size is between 1-9, with June the likely time of parturition (Smith and Xie 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Mongolia, this species is protected as Rare under the 2001 revision (Mongolian Government Act. No. 264) of the 2000 Law of the Mongolian Animal Kingdom. Listed as Rare under the 1995 Mongolian Hunting Law (MNE 1996), and included as Rare in the 1997 Mongolian Red Book (MNE 1997). It was regionally Red Listed in Mongolia as Endangered under criterion A3c (Clark et al. 2006). Approximately 13% of the species’ range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas. Although it is conserved under Mongolian Protected Area Laws, Hunting Laws, and the Law of the Mongolian Animal Kingdom, no conservation measures specifically aimed at this species have been established to date. In China, there are no known conservation measures in place for this species. It occurs in Luoshan, Baijitan, and Saihanwula Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008) and may be present in additional protected areas. In China, it has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Shar, S., Lkhagvasuren, D. & Smith, A.T. 2008. Spermophilus alashanicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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