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Spermophilus parryii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Spermophilus parryii
Species Authority: (Richardson, 1825)
Common Name(s):
English Arctic Ground Squirrel
Synonym(s):
Citellus buxtoni Allen, 1903
Citellus eversmanni Ognev, 1937 subspecies janensis
Citellus parryi Tchernyavsky, 1972 subspecies tshuktschorum
Citellus stejnegeri Allen, 1903
Citellus undulatus Portenko, 1963 subspecies coriakorum
Spermophilus brunniceps Kittlitz, 1858
Spermophilus leucosticus Brandt, 1844

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G., Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Justification:
This species has a large population size and a wide distribution. It is abundant in parts of the range. Although it is hunted for meat and skins for local trade, this is not thought to threaten the species as a whole. Assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: In Eurasia distributed in NE Siberia, from Lena River, Verhoyanskoe and Kolymskoe Highlands, Chukotka, and Kamchatka. From Kolyma River to Arctic and Pacific Oceans; in south range does not reach Magadan (Gromov and Erbaeva, 1995). According to Serdyuk (1986) current area of occupancy is above 2 million sq. km, but it distributed sporadically and inhabited zones interchange with wide uninhabited places. There is a big isolated population at western border of the range, in Lena River Basin (Panteleev, 1998). In Yakutia here are two isolated populations: on Yana River, and on headstream of Indigirka River (Vinokurov et al., 1982). The range is expanding (Serdyuk, 1986).

In North America, from Alaska east to west of Hudson Bay and south to central British Columbia and extreme northern Manitoba.
Countries:
Native:
Canada (British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Yukon); Russian Federation; United States (Alaska)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Occur in colonies and are locally abundant throughout the range. Appears to be little accessible information about its status in mainland Alaska or the Canadian territories, but anecdotal comments indicate it is common.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Found in open tundra, in forested areas in open meadows, or above treeline, in river valleys and meadow-steppe places, in coastal sand ridges. In mountains inhabit edges of stone deposits and meadows of alpine and subalpine zones (up to 1400 m). Often found in outskirts of human settlements. Lives in colonies with complex system of burrows. Burrows are shallow (up to 1 m), without vertical passages. Permanent burrows are with several entrances and nests. Hibernates from October till March. In northern part of the range exits hibernation while it is still snowing. Omnivorous. In spring, mainly feed on animals. Later feed on berries, mushrooms, lichens, mosses and other plants. Stores nuts and dry grass for winter. Reproduce once a year. In the northern part of the range mating occurs in burrows before they emerge outside. Litter size is 6-8, sometimes up to 14 young. Starts mating during second year.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Unsustainable hunting for skins for local trade is the primary threat. Possible habitat degradation through grazing by increasing numbers of livestock. Drying of water sources and droughts also threaten this species, although it remains unclear if these represent natural environmental changes or are driven by anthropogenic activity.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although the distribution within the range is patchy, it is common and sometimes abundant species that occurs in some protected areas.

Considered "secure" (S5) in British Columbia, but "vulnerable" (S3) in Manitoba where it occurs marginally. Several subspecies are restricted to Alaskan Islands, where they are of conservation concern because of their restricted distributions: S. p. kodiacensis (S3), S. p. lyratus (S3), S. p. nebulicola (S3), S. p. osgoodi (S3?). Otherwise, the species is not ranked in Alaska or the Canadian territories.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. 2008. Spermophilus parryii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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