- Alactagulus pumilio Kerr, 1792
Dwarf Fat-tailed Jerboa
Value of species
Distributed in southern part of steppe zone, semi-deserts and deserts from the Don River (Russia) through Kazakhstan to the Irtysh River, south to NE Iran; E to S Mongolia; China: W Nei Mongol, N Xinjiang Gansu, and Ningxia (Shenbrot et al. 1995, Wilson and Reeder 2005). The range is consists of two large isolated parts, western and eastern (China and Mongolia) and several small isolated populations between those two parts and along the southern border of the range. Stubbe and Chotolchu (1968) recorded two localities just across the southern border of Mongolia.
In some parts of the range the species is relatively abundant and population number is stable. However, the whole range is fragmented and all the isolated populations in the east and south of the range are slowly declining and potentially vulnerable owing to the species' highly specialised habitat requirements.
Pygeretmus pumilio is a stenobiont species. It inhabits clay semi-deserts with rare vegetation which includes succulents of the family Haenopodiaceae (Salsola, Suaeda, Nanopphyton, Anabasis etc.). The clay proportion in the soil and type of vegetation determine species distribution (Shenbrot et al. 1995). This species has a primarily herbivorous diet and stores fat in its tail as a reserve during times of food scarcity.