Dinaromys bogdanovi 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Dinaromys bogdanovi (Martino, 1922)
Common Name(s):
English Balkan Snow Vole, Martino's Snow Vole, Martino's Vole
French Campagnol De Martino
Spanish Topillo Nival De Los Balcanes
Taxonomic Notes: Molecular data suggests that this taxon might in fact consist of two species, although further research is required to confirm this (Kryštufek et al. 2007). Genetic data clearly indicate that the Balkan Snow Vole is composed of three historically isolated, independently evolving sets of populations, that can be regarded as evolutionary significant units (ESUs).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(i,ii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-06-24
Assessor(s): Kryštufek, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kennerley, R.

Dinaromys bogdanovi is the only living member of the Tertiary genus Dinaromys, and probably also the only surviving member of the Pliomys lineage. It is endemic to the Balkans area of the Mediterranean region. It is restricted to a specialised and fragmented habitat, and may be declining in parts of its range as a result of competition with the European snow vole. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is restricted, and is considered to be less than 2,000 km². Current populations are invariably small and frequently isolated due to the species' specialised habitat requirements and its range is shrinking. It is assessed as Vulnerable (VU B2ab(i,ii,iv)). Research is urgently needed to determine how serious a threat competition with the European Snow Vole is.

Dinaromys bogdanovi consists of three historically isolated, independently evolving sets of populations, which can be regarded as evolutionary significant units (ESUs), and which are likely to constitute at least two separate species. If these were assessed separately, then it is extremely likely that one or more of them would qualify as Endangered or Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List Criteria. Rarity is particularly pronounced in the north-western lineage to the west of the Neretva River, where rocky habitats are largely occupied by the European Snow Vole.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Balkan Snow Vole is endemic to the Balkan states of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, and western Macedonia. Its range is likely to extend into Albania and may include northern Greece, although there are no known records (Kryštufek 1999, Kryštufek and Bužan 2008, Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005). It occurs from sea level to 2,200 m, but is typically found over 1,500 m and rarely much lower (Kryštufek 1999, B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2006). It is the only living representative of its genus, and its range was restricted throughout prehistorical times.
Countries occurrence:
Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Serbia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:500-2000Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:111387
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Because it is restricted to karst limestone habitats, this species has a naturally discontinuous distribution and subpopulations are always small and isolated (Kryštufek and Bužan 2008). The long-term population trend has not been quantified, but there is evidence to suggest that the species is declining in both population and range (Kryštufek et al. 2007). At the southernmost known site (on the Macedonia/Albania border) there have been no records of this species in the last 30 years, and the only records since then are of the European snow vole Chionomys nivalis (Kryštufek and Bužan 2008). There are three distinct lineages within the population (Kryštufek et al. 2007). One of these, the north-western lineage, is of particular cause for concern: its range is excessively limited and highly fragmented, with only 17 known localities that stretch along approximately 300 km of the Dinaric mountain range; and its populations are invariably small and frequently highly isolated, with an extensive survey of its range often yielding only one individual in many of the sampling localities (Kryštufek et al. 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found exclusively in rocky karst limestone areas, typically being found in stone-piles in meadows above the tree line, less often in rocky areas below the tree line. Martino's vole has highly specific habitat requirements (Kryštufek et al. 2010) and the adaptive zone occupied imposes strong pressures of stabilizing selection (Kryštufek et al. 2012). It eats grasses and herbs. The Balkan Snow Vole's life history is slow compared to other Arvicoline rodents: longevity is up to four years, age at sexual maturity is two years, and the species has 1-2 litters per year of 2.3 young on average (Petrov 1992, Kryštufek et al. 2000).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It tends to inhabit isolated, inaccessible areas that are subject to little human disturbance. However, interspecific competition with another native rock-dwelling vole, Chionomys nivalis, may possibly pose a threat (Kryštufek and Bužan 2008). There has been no research and monitoring to determine whether this is a major threat, or whether this is occurring over a long time period - there is only anecdotal evidence from two localities (Kryštufek and Bužan 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas within its range. There is some national legislation in at least parts of its range. There is an urgent need to establish a long term monitoring program, and to determine the extent of competition with the European snow vole.

Since Croatia joined the EU, Martino’s vole is a Habitat Directive species (B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2017).

Citation: Kryštufek, B. 2018. Dinaromys bogdanovi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T6607A97220104. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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