NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Spalax zemni (Erxleben, 1777)

Synonym
  • Glis zemni Erxleben, 1777
  • Spalax podolicus Trouessart, 1897
  • Spalax polonicus Mehely, 1909
Vernacular Name
Podolian Mole Rat, Podolsk Mole Rat
Images
Conservation status
IUCN: VU; RDBUkr: Недостатньо відомі
Value of species
Remarks
Detail
The species occurs in Ukraine, where it is found from near the Polish border in the east to the Dnepr River in Central Ukraine and south to the Moldovan border. Populations are fragmented in Ukraine, so the area of occupancy could be much lower than the range indicated on the map. There are no data on population size of the species. The range is highly fragmented and consists of isolated populations. Therefore although the species has relatively large extent of occurrence, the area of occupancy is low. Since the end of the 19th century the Podolsk mole rat has been considered a rare species across its whole range (Ognev 1947). Range contraction in historical time is probably due to shrinking of steppe habitats. Subfossil remains of the species were found on the left bank of Dnepr River in Kiev and Zhitomir regions. Therefore, losses of range in the south, north-west and north-east have a long history. Currently population density in optimal biotopes is about 1-8 individuals per hectare. The major habitat of this species is virgin steppes. It also occurs in side roads, forest belts, and agricultural fields, and was recently found in former military firing ranges (I. Zagorodnyuk pers. comm. 2006). Does not avoid sandy soils. An obligate underground species. Its feeding habits are poorly studied, but according to data from southern and south-eastern part of the range it feeds on underground parts of lucerne, chicory, bindweed, mallows and tree seedlings (oak, mulberry, acacia etc.). There are no data on breeding or ecology. Not found in protected areas (except perhaps Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park).
Book reference
  • Татаринов К. А. Звірі західних областей України (матеріали до вивчення фауни Української РСР). - Київ: Вид-во АН УРСР, 1956. - 188 с.
Experts

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Animalia
Eumetazoa
Chordata
Gnathostomata
Mammalia
Muriformes
Spalacidae
PARTNERS