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Tamias sibiricus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Tamias sibiricus
Species Authority: Laxmann, 1769
Common Name(s):
English Siberian Chipmunk

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N., Shar, S., Lkhagvasuren, D. & Sheftel, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a large population size and a wide distribution. No decline in population size has been detected, and there are no known widespread major threats. Its range is currently expanding westwards in Europe.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Most of the range of this species is in Asia. It occurs from northern European and Siberian Russia to Sakhalin, extreme eastern Kazakhstan to northern Mongolia, northwest and central China extending to northeast China (Smith and Xie, in press), Korea, and in Japan from Hokkaido, Iturup, Kunashir, Rishiri, Rebun, Teuri, and Yagishiri (Abe, et al., 2005). In Japan the species has been introduced on Honshu at one confirmed locality, Karuizawa. It is also introduced in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy (Amori 1999). In Mongolia it is known from forested areas of northern Mongolia, including Hangai, Hövsgöl, Hentii and Mongol Altai mountain ranges (Mallon, 1985).
Countries:
Native:
China; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Introduced:
Belgium; Germany; Italy; Netherlands; Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is relatively abundant across its range. It is expanding in Europe in the boreal forest zone, and has reached Vodlo Lake (Karelia) in Russia (H. Henttonnen pers. comm. 2006).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species typically inhabits coniferous and mixed forests with a rich undergrowth of berry-bearing shrubs, as well as steppe and open areas. It occurs from the coast up in to mountains up to the tree line. It climbs trees, but lives in simple shallow burrows underground. Summer nests are in stumps, fallen trees, sometimes in low hollows. Usually the burrows consist of two big chambers, nest and larder, and small chambers used as a lavatory. These burrows can become up to 9 m in length, and each chipmunk 'owns' one burrow. Complex voice communication is characteristic to the species. It hibernates in winter. Short and long distance migrations have been registered during years with a poor harvest of Siberian pine nuts. It feeds on various seeds, mainly on Siberian pine, but their diet also includes seeds of other coniferous and deciduous trees and herbs. In spring and summer it consumes herb shoots; and sometimes can eat insects and molluscs. From August onward it stores up food for winter, storage mass usually 3-4 kg. It reproduces after leaving hibernation, in April-May. It is diurnal with most activity being in the morning. In Mongolia they do not hibernate during bad weather but do go into torpor, awakening occasionally to feed from their cache. They rarely become pests and if they do they are easy to control.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species throughout its range. In Mongolia, hunting for the international trade in skins once occurred at high levels, and between 1958 and 1960 it was estimated that 2,600 to 4,400 individuals were killed annually (Stubbe, 1965). This activity is now believed to have ceased and at present the dominant threat to this species is human-caused and natural wildfires in some parts of its range. In Japan, there is suspected hybridization of native T. s. lineatus with feral continental individuals on Hokkaido, especially in urban areas, e.g. Sapporo (Abe, et al., 2005); this is exacerbated by the importation of squirrels from Korea and the mainland for pet shops.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Its range includes several protected areas.

Citation: Tsytsulina, K., Formozov, N., Shar, S., Lkhagvasuren, D. & Sheftel, B. 2008. Tamias sibiricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 September 2014.
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