Acomys russatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Acomys russatus
Species Authority: (Wagner, 1840)
Common Name(s):
English Golden Spiny Mouse
Acomys lewisi Atallah, 1967

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Scott, D., Shenbrot, G. & Amr, Z.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
The species is widespread and common, and is not known to face any major threat at present. Subspecies lewisi has a very narrow habitat tolerance and a small range, so it would likely qualify as threatened if assessed separately.
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The type locality is located within a major Egyptian Military base (Wadi Hof), but there is no current information about the species from this area. Beer Kasib is the only other known locality in Egypt outside of the Sinai, but it no longer occurs here. The species was widespread and common in Egypt up to 50 years ago. It has either been extirpated or is very close to extirpation within much of Egypt. It is still common on the Sinai Peninsula (e.g., at St. Catherine's) and in the Middle East (Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, northern Yemen and Oman). This species occurs up to 2,000 m asl. The range of the form A. russatus lewisi may extend into Syria but may be a separate species.
Egypt (Sinai); Israel; Jordan; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Yemen
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was once very common in Egypt but has declined by more than 90% in the last 50 years. It is still common elsewhere in its range (e.g. Jordan: Amr 2000).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurred strictly in rocky habitats, at the edges of wadis, at the base of jebels, or on mountain summits. This is a diurnal, insectivorous species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The reasons for the species decline in Egypt are unknown. Elsewhere in its range it is not considered to be seriously threatened. The golden spiny mouse has become a pest in agricultural fields that use drip irrigation as they eat seeds and destroy certain crops. They sometimes are the focus of public health concern because flea populations on these mice may host Rickettsia, the organism which causes typhus.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is found in many protected areas. A survey on the status of this species in the eastern desert of Egypt and in Wadi Hof is needed.

Bibliography [top]

Amr, Z. S. 2000. Mammals of Jordan. Jordan Country Study of Biological Diversity. United Nations Environment Program and Global Environment Fund Project, Amman, Jordan.

Qumsiyeh, M. B. 1996. Mammals of the Holy Land. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock.

Scott, Dm. and Dunstone, N. 2000. Environmental determinants of the composition of desert-living rodent communities in the north-east Badia region of Jordan. Journal of Zoology (London) 251(4): 481-494.

Shargal, E., Kronfeld-Schor, N. and Dayan, T. 2000. Population Biology And Spatial Relationships of Coexisting Spiny Mice (Acomys) in Israel. Journal of Mammalogy 81(4): 1046-1052.

Citation: Scott, D., Shenbrot, G. & Amr, Z. 2008. Acomys russatus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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