Dicrostonyx nelsoni


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Dicrostonyx nelsoni
Species Authority: Merriam, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Nelson's Collared Lemming, Nelson's Collred Lemming, Ungava Collared Lemming
Dicrostonyx exsul G.M. Allen, 1919
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously recognized as a subspecies of D. groenlandicus. Dicrostonyx taxonomy is complex and not well resolved. The complex was regarded as part a single circumpolar species, D. torquatus, until the 1970s when karyological and breeding studies indicated the possible existence of a superspecies complex among North American Dicrostonyx (Rausch and Rausch 1972, Rausch 1977, see also Krohne, 1982). Former subspecies occurring in western Canada and Alaska were recognized as separate species based mainly on karyotypes (Rausch and Rausch 1972; Rausch 1977; Krohne 1982; Honacki et al. 1982; Jones et al. 1986, 1992). Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) reviewed these and subsequent studies and recognized eight Dicrostonyx species, six of which (groenlandicus, hudsonius, nelsoni, nunatakensis, richardsoni, and unalascensis) occur in North America; this is the taxonomy adopted here. Baker et al. (2003) recognized D. exsul, D. kilangmiutak, and D. rubricatus as species, but Musser and Carleton recognized exsul as a synonym of D. nelsoni, and kilangmiutak and rubricatus were treated as synonyms of D. groenlandicus.

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. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, its population is not thought to be declining and there are no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on the Seward Peninsula and south to Kuskokwin Bay, in south-central Alaska, United States.
United States (Alaska)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is apparently secure.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in Arctic tundra, but no further details of its ecology are known.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of this species includes a few protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Dicrostonyx nelsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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