Psammomys obesus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Psammomys obesus
Species Authority: Cretzschmar, 1828
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Fat Sand Rat
French Rat De Sable

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Aulagnier, S. & Granjon, L.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in North Africa from Mauritania and Western Sahara to Egypt, and east through Sinai Peninsula into Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan and Syria. It is unevenly distributed probably due to its dependence on succulent plants for moisture. It has been recorded from a harbour in Sudan, where it may have been accidentally introduced.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Egypt; Israel; Jordan; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common. At times, population explosions occur.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is only found in the vicinity of succulent shrubs, which are its main food source. It is a habitat generalist, found in rocky habitats, grasslands, semi-desert and desert so long as succulent shrubs are present. This mostly diurnal species is colonial and lives in burrow systems in open terrain of soil or sand. The causative agent for Leishmaniasis has been isolated from this species in Jordan (Amr 2000). The species is used in laboratory studies on diabetes (Qumsiyeh 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is used for experimental medicine for diabetes and obesity research.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats. The species is persecuted as a pest and is a reservoir for disease.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Found in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.17. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
suitability: Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 17. Other
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

♦  Research
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Amr, Z.S. 2000. Jordan Country Study of Biological Diversity. Mammals of Jordan. United Nations Environment Programme and National Library, Amman, Jordan.

Harrison, D.L. and Bates, P.J.J. 1991. The Mammals of Arabia. Harrison Zoological Museum, Sevenoaks, UK.

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

Citation: Aulagnier, S. & Granjon, L. 2008. Psammomys obesus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18418A8230451. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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