Mus spicilegus 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Mus spicilegus Petényi, 1882
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Steppe Mouse, Mound-building Mouse
French Souris Des Steppes
Spanish Ratón De Las Estepas

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-01
Assessor(s): Coroiu, I., Kryštufek, B. & Vohralík, V.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
M. spicilegus is widespread in its range and can be common in suitable habitat. It is declining in some parts of its range owing to habitat loss, but not at a rate that meets the threatened criteria. Currently assessed as Least Concern, but population declines should be monitored.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mus spicilegus is endemic to Europe, occuring from Lake Neusiedl on the Austro-Hungarian border through Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia (Serbia and Montenegro), Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine, reaching as far as Rostov in the exteme south-west of Russia. An isolated population occurs in Montenegro, Greece and Albania. This population has a fragmented range within a very narrow strip of habitat, and there are only three known localities (B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2006). It typically occurs from sea level to 200 m (Macholán 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Greece; Hungary; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Ukraine
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It remains common in suitable habitats, but is suspected to be undergoing population decline in some areas. Densities of 1-20 mounds per hectare are typical, but densities of up to 60-100 mounds per hectare may be reached in particularly favourable habitat. On average, each mound is inhabited by five to six individuals (Macholán 1999). In Slovakia the range appears to be expanding.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in a variety of open habitats including natural steppe grasslands, pastures and cereal fields, orchards, open woodland, woodland edges and clearings. It avoids forests and human settlements. It feeds on grain and seeds, which it hoards in the winter in a soil-covered mound built above its nest chamber; a single mound may be up to 400 cm in diameter (although 100-200 cm is more typical) and contain up to 10 kg of grain (Macdonald and Barrett 1993, Sokolov et al. 1998). Groups of 4-14 mice cooperate to build these mounds (Sokolov et al. 1998).
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is feared that loss of steppe grassland and agricultural intensification may cause population declines (Macholán 1999). However, in Romania at least, this species is considered an agricultural pest (Popescu and Murariu 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in some protected area within its range. The population may be declining and this should be monitored.

Citation: Coroiu, I., Kryštufek, B. & Vohralík, V. 2016. Mus spicilegus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T13984A544549. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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