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Allactaga elater

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA DIPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Allactaga elater
Species Authority: (Lichtenstein, 1825)
Common Name(s):
English Small Five-toed Jerboa
Spanish Jerboa Cinco-tocado Con La Punta Del Pie Pequeño
Taxonomic Notes: Includes a number of subspecies distributed in a quite fragmented range. The last taxonomic revision was made by Shenbrot (1991).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Shenbrot, G., Tsytsulina, K., Batsaikhan, N., Avirmed, D., Tinnin, D., Sukhchuluun, G. & Lkhagvasuren, D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Least Concern. This species is widespread, has a presumed large global population, and is not declining at a rate significant enough to qualify for a higher listing (although population decreases have been reported in some parts of the range).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Allactaga elater is a widespread species that occurs from Turkey, the Caucasus, west to the Russia and China. This species is more specifically found in loamy and rubbly deserts, solonetzic and desertified steppes in SE Europe, N Caucasus and Transcaucasia through Kazakhstan and Central Asia to S Siberia, to NE Xinjiang, Nei Mongol, and N Gansu, China, and western Mongolia. Southern part of the range includes SW Pakistan, Afghanistan; Iran; E Turkey (Shenbrot et al. 1995, Wilson and Reeder 2005).
Countries:
Native:
Afghanistan; Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; China; Georgia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Pakistan; Russian Federation; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common and abundant species across most of the range. The isolated population in northern Caspian Sea region is currently declining due to rapid transformation of the species' habitats. Population fluctuations are characteristic of this species, so in favourable years the population may increase even though the overall trend is of decline in the northern Caspian Sea region. Population density may fluctuate ninefold between different years (Shenbrot et al. 1995).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The smallest species of its genus, the small five-toed jerboa has a body mass of 44-73 g (Ognev, 1962-1964). Coloration varies from sandy or buff coloured to dark russet or black, with pale underparts and a white stripe on the hip (Nowak, 1991). Its feet have five digits. The species is well adapted for moving in large leaps if startled, and has been recorded moving at speeds of up to 48 km/hour (Roberts, 1977).

It inhabits different biotopes in deserts and semideserts, depending on soil and vegetation type. The species prefers sandy, rubbly and loamy soils, and is found on solonetzic deserts, but never inhabits real deserts. It prefers areas with a mixture of vegetation including shrubs. Avoids open spaces and dense vegetation (Shenbrot et al. 1995). This species occurs in some degraded habitats and along the edges of agricultural areas.

It feeds on different herbs, seeds and insects. It is solitary, and active during dusk and at night. Lives in burrows with a length up to 2 m and depth up to 70 cm. Across most of its range it hibernates for about four months (from mid-November to mid-March), but in Transcaucasia does not hibernate. The reproductive period starts after hibernation (in Transcaucasia in February). There are two reproductive peaks in April and in August-September. Produces 2-3 litters per year with 2-6 young per litter.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Relatively secure in most of the range; there are no major threats, although locally there may be negative impacts from desertification and habitat conversion. In Mongolia, drying of water sources and droughts threaten this species, although it remains unclear if these represent natural environmental changes or are driven by anthropogenic activity. A small population in Turkey occurs in an semi-desert area with increasing irrigation pressure (Eken pers. comm.). In the European Russian part of the range it is not abundant and the population is declining due to rapid transformation of semideserts into steppes. Also land development reduces natural habitats and causes population decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in many protected areas. Up to now no special conservation measures have been taken. The north Caspian population might need protection in the near future as natural habitats are declining.

Citation: Shenbrot, G., Tsytsulina, K., Batsaikhan, N., Avirmed, D., Tinnin, D., Sukhchuluun, G. & Lkhagvasuren, D. 2008. Allactaga elater. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 October 2014.
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