Urocitellus undulatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Urocitellus undulatus Pallas, 1778
Common Name(s):
English Long-tailed Ground Squirrel
Arctomys altaicus Eversmann, 1841
Citellus eversmanni (Brandt, 1841)
Citellus eversmanni Obolensky, 1927 ssp. transbaikalicus
Spermophilus undulatus (Pallas, 1778)
Taxonomic Source(s): Helgen, K.M., Cole, F.R.,Helgen, L.E. and Wilson, D.E. 2009. Generic revision in the Holarctic ground squirrel genus Spermophilus. Journal of Mammalogy 90(2): 270-305.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-18
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Lkhagvasuren, D. & Shar, S.
This species has a large population size and a wide distribution. No decline in population size has been detected, and there are no known widespread major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Distributed in mountain forest-steppes and steppes from Southern Siberia and Altai (Russia) to Manchuria. Two isolated population in north, in Yakutia (S. u. jacuensis) and east of the range, between Amur and Burei Rivers in Russia and N Heilongjiang in China (S. u. menzbieri). In China distributed in Altai and Sayan mountains; Xinjiang, Altai mountains; Xinjiang, Tian Shan mountains. In Mongolia found in Mongol Altai, Hangai, Hövsgöl and Hentii mountain ranges, as far south as Aj Bogd Massif in Trans Altai Govi Desert. Recently recorded in the northern portions of Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve in Eastern Govi.
Countries occurrence:
China (Heilongjiang, Xinjiang); Kazakhstan; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is common and sometimes abundant species. Population size very much differs depending on the habitat. For example, in Transbaikalia in steppe river valleys population density is up to 250 burrows per ha (Badmaev 1996). In Tuva it is about 100 burrows per ha (Ol'kova 1962). In other habitats density is much lower, in wormwood and cereal steppe it is about 5 animals per ha, and in subalpine zone it is 1-2 animals per ha (Shilova and Savinetskaya, Biodiversity Conservation Centre web-site, in Russian).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits semi-desert and mountain steppe habitats along the edge of forests. In China found in thinly wooded savannas and grassy steppes bordering the Gobi desert. In addition to grasslands, they occupy bushy terrain among oaks and white or black beech groves, alpine meadows, and wet areas along river valleys. Lives in colonies with a labyrinth of burrows. Burrows are characteristically 8-13 cm in diameter and surrounded by a large mound of soil (up to 2 m in diameter and 40 cm high) Diurnally active; although most active at dawn and dusk. Diet consists of green vegetation and seeds, but also insects. Before hibernating makes a store of vegetation to utilize following arousal. Hibernates from October until late March/mid April. Reproduce once per year in spring; litters of 3-9 young are produced following a 30 day gestation. Start mating on second year.
Generation Length (years):2-3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hunted for human use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting for international trade in skins once occurred at high levels, between 1958 and 1960 it was estimated that as many as 418,400-551,000 individuals were killed annually (Stubbe 1965). This activity is now believed to have ceased and no other threats are known to be impacting upon this species at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in some protected areas (approximately 11% of the species’ range in Mongolia).

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
8. Desert -> 8.3. Desert - Cold
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

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
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Badmaev B. B. 1996. Ecology of Long-Tailed Ground Squirrel Citellus (Spermophilus) undulatus Pall. 1778, in Western Transbaikalia. Moscow State University.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Ol'kova, N. V. 1962. Ecological features in long-tailed ground squirrel in connection to its epidemiological and economic value. Irkutsk.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. 2008. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Stubbe, M. 1965. Jagd, Jagdgesetz und Wild in der Mongolischen Volksrepublik. Beiträge zur Jagd- und Wildforschung 4: 163-178.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Urocitellus undulatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T20494A22264197. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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