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Overview

Brief Summary

Long-eared jerboa (Euchoreutes naso)

The long-eared jerboa is placed in its own subfamily, Euchoreutinae (Wikipedia).

The jerboa is found in the Trans Altai Gobi Desert and Alashani Gobi Desert of southern Mongolia to the Takla-Makan Desert, Mengxin, Aerijin Mountain and Qing-Zang Plateau regions in the Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Nei Mongol and Ningxia provinces of north-west China. It lives in sand hills on the edge of desert oases and in sandy valleys, covered with low shrub cover and low growing bushes and other sparse vegetation, as well as arid and cold desert or semi-desert mountainous areas.

The body length is 70-90 mm and the tail length is 150-162 mm; the male may have a 95-107 mm body and 147-180 mm tail (IUCN), but the female is smaller. The jerboa weighs 24-38 g; males weigh 23.7-37.8 g and females 27.4-33 g. The upper parts are reddish yellow or light reddish-brown to a light or pale russet or grey; the belly is white. The tail is covered with short hairs, similar in color to the rest of the body, but the terminal tuft has a white tip and black mid-section. The jerboa has long hind legs for leaping high; the hind foot is 40-46 mm long, with five digits. The two lateral digits are shorter than the three central ones. The central metatarsals are fused for a small distance. The feet are covered with tufts of bristly hairs. The 39-45 mm ears are 1/3 longer than the head. The incisors are thin and white. There is a small premolar on each side of the upper jaw. Females have eight mammae.

The jerboa is mostly nocturnal. It may use dust bathing and scent marks as forms of chemical communication and may use sounds or vibrations, as well as visual signals, to communicate (ADW).

Insects comprise 95% of the diet (IUCN). The jerboas often uses sound to locate flying insects, which it captures by performing fast leaps into the air. It also eats lizards and green plants (IUCN). It is cryptically coloured and uses its excellent hearing to avoid predation by little owls and other nocturnal predators (ADW). Jerboa faeces carry Helicobacter species, so the species jerboa may carry and transmit the disease to humans (ADW).

The jerboa is probably polygynous (ADW). It probably mates for a short time after awaking from its winter hibernation (ADW). A female breeds twice during the summer season and raises 2-6 young in early spring (IUCN). Gestation lasts 25-35 days. The mother nurses and cares for her young at least until they are weaned (ADW). The jerboa probably lives 2-3 years (ADW).

The IUCN says the Red List status for the jerboa is Least Concern, due to its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in several protected areas, such as the Ejinahuyanglin Nature Reserve in China, and as it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category (IUCN). It was classified as being 'Endangered' in 1996 (IUCN). In Mongolia, it is conserved under Mongolian Protected Area Laws as it occurs within protected areas (IUCN). The major threat is ongoing human disturbance (ADW). The IUCN says the population has probably fallen by at least 80% over the last 10 due to a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of its habitat (ADW). The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project identified the long-eared jerboa was identified as one of the top-10 "focal species" in 2007 (Wikipedia).

The jerboa appears on a coin (Wikipedia).

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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in China and Mongolia (Smith and Xie 2008). In Mongolia, Sokolov et al. (1996) reported it from ten localities in desert habitats of the Trans Altai Gobi Desert and Alashani Gobi Desert. Mongolia represents the northern limit of its global distribution. In China, it is known from the arid regions of Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Nei Mongol, and Ningxia provinces (Smith and Xie 2008).
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Long-eared jerboas are found in the Palearctic region. They occur from southernmost Mongolia into the Takla-Makan Desert, Mengxin, Aerijin Mountain, and Qing-Zang Plateau regions of north western China.

Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Long-eared jerboa tail length is 150 to 162 mm, body length is from 70 to 90 mm. The tail is covered with short hairs that are similar in color to the rest of the body except for the terminal tuft, which is white and black. Upper parts are reddish yellow to a light russet color. The belly is white. The hind foot is 40 to 46 mm in length, with five digits. The two lateral digits are shorter than the three central ones. The central metatarsals are fused for a small distance. The feet are covered with tufts of bristly hairs. Long-eared jerboas have ears that are 1/3 longer than their heads. The incisors are thin and white. A small premolar can be found on each side of the upper jaw. Females have eight mammae.

Range length: 70 to 90 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

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Type Information

Type for Euchoreutes naso
Catalog Number: USNM 240764
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Mammals
Sex/Stage: Female; Adult
Preparation: Skin; Skull; Partial Skeleton
Collector(s): F. Wulsin
Year Collected: 1923
Locality: Ninghsia, 100 mi NNW, Alashan Desert, Nei Monggol, China, Asia
  • Type: Howell, A. B. 1928 Mar 16. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 41: 42.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
In Mongolia, this species is found in desert habitats, with most records from sandy valleys with low shrub cover, associated with pea shrubs (Caragana spp.), Kalidum foliatum, tamarisk (Tamarix ramossima) and saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron). Its range overlaps with the Gobi jerboa (Allactaga bullata), midday gerbil (Meriones meridianus), hairy footed jerboa (Dipus sagitta) and Gobi hamster (Cricetulus obscurus) (MNE 1997).

The most important biological feature of this species is its insectivory, insects comprise 95% of its diet (Sokolov et al. 1996). This nocturnal species has large ears and elongated feet, a long tail with a white tip and black mid-section, and a grey coat with a white underside. It is one of the larger jerboa species in Mongolia, males weigh 23.7-37.8 g, with head-rump measurements of 95-107 mm, an average tail length of 147-180 mm, a hind foot length of 44-46 mm, and an ear length of 39-45 mm. Females generally weigh less (27.4-33 g) and have slightly shorter body and tail lengths (Sokolov et al. 1996).

In China, it is an inhabitant of sandy desert regions; usually found in sand hills on the edge of desert oases or in sandy valleys with sparse vegetation (Smith and Xie 2008). Green plants constitute the bulk of its diet, but it may consume insects and lizards (Smith and Xie 2008). Parturition occurs in early spring, with litter sizes of 2-6 (Smith and Xie 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Specimens of long-eared jerboas have been collected in sandy valleys that are covered with low growing bushes. Their range includes the Mengxin and Aerjin Mountain regions, which are arid and classified as desert or semi desert. Their range also extends into the Qing-Zang Plateau region, a cold, high elevation desert area. Plant diversity is low in these areas, Haloxylon ammodendron is a low-growing shrub that has been documented at some capture sites.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune

  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore and London: The Johnson Hopkins University Press.
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Trophic Strategy

Long-eared jerboas are insectivorous. They often eat flying insects by using sound to locate them and then capturing them by performing fast leaps into the air.

Animal Foods: insects

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

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Associations

Long-eared jerboas are insectivorous, impacting insect populations within their range.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Helicobacter

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Little owls (Athene noctua) are predators of some species in the family Dipodidae in central Asia. Most species in this family take advantage of their excellent hearing to avoid predation by nocturnal predators. Jerboas are also cryptically colored.

Known Predators:

  • little owls (Athene noctua)

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

  • Lay, D. 1974. Differential Predation on Gerbils (Meriones) by the Little Owl, Athene brahma. Journal of Mammalogy, 55: 608-614. Accessed November 16, 2006 at http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Exact forms of communication in long-eared jerboas are not known. However, many species within the family Dipodidae participate in dust bathing. Dust bathing is often a way to use chemical communication. Their keen hearing suggests they may use sounds or vibrations to communicate.

Long-eared jerboas eat flying insects, using sound to locate insects and capture them by performing fast leaps into the air.

Communication Channels: acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

The longevity of long-eared jerboas is not known. However, average longevity of jerboas is 2 to 3 years.

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Reproduction

Mating systems for long-eared jerboas are not known. However, mating systems of closely related species in the family Dipodidae suggest that they may be polygynous.

For some closely related jerboa species mating usually happens a short time after awaking from winter hibernation. A female will breed twice during the summer season and raise between 2 to 6 young. Gestation time is between 25 and 35 days.

Breeding interval: Breeding can occur twice each season.

Breeding season: Breeding begins shortly after awaking from hibernation.

Range number of offspring: 2 to 6.

Range gestation period: 25 to 35 days.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

Little is known about parental investment in long-eared jerboas. Like most mammals, females nurse and care for their young at least until they are weaned.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Euchoreutes naso

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Batsaikhan, N., Avirmed, D., Tinnin, D. & Smith, A.T.

Reviewer/s
Johnston, C.H. & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

History
  • 1996
    Endangered (EN)
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The major threat to long-eared jerboas, according to IUCN, is ongoing human disturbance. The IUCN states that the population has undergone an observed or probable reduction of at least eighty percent over the last ten years due to either a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, and/or quality of their habitat.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
In Mongolia, surveys of the Trans Altai Gobi Desert in 1975 found three individuals in the Zuun-Mod oases using 200 pitfall traps per day, five individuals during night surveys in the Hatan suudal Mountain over a 46 km transect, and six individuals over a 50 km transect in the Zam Bilkhiin Gobi (Sokolov et al. 1978). Studies in the desert zones between 1979 and 1983 found an average of 0.5 0.2 individuals per hectare. A survey of five biomes found this species to be ubiquitous in the extra-arid and true deserts of the Trans-Altai Gobi (Kulikov and Rogovin 1980).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
In Mongolia, the species is conserved under Mongolian Protected Area Laws because it occurs within protected areas; however, no conservation measures specifically aimed at this species have been established to date (Clark et al. 2006). Approximately 44% of it's range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas. It was listed as Rare in the 1987 and 1997 Mongolian Red Books (Shagdarsuren et al. 1987; MNE 1997) and was recently regionally Red Listed as Vulnerable A3c in Mongolia (Clark et al. 2006).

In China, this species occurs in Ejinahuyanglin Nature Reserve (CSIS 2008) and may be present in additional protected areas. There are no known conservation measures in place in China. In China, it has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Helicobacter species were found in the feces of long-eared jerboas, suggesting they could carry and transmit this disease.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease)

  • Kazuo, G., J. Wei, Z. Qiang, O. Yuzaburo, K. Haruo, I. Toshio, I. Mamoru. 2004. Epidemiology of Helicobacter Infection in Wild Rodents in the Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Current Microbiology, 49: 221-223. Accessed November 20, 2006 at http://www.springerlink.com/content/g0v87fn0l9n4rg1n/.
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Long-eared jerboas are important members of their native ecosystems.

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Wikipedia

Long-eared jerboa

The long-eared jerboa (Euchoreutes naso)[2] is a nocturnal mouse-like rodent with a long tail, long hind legs for jumping, and exceptionally large ears. It is distinct enough that authorities consider it to be the only member of both its genus, Euchoreutes, and subfamily, Euchoreutinae.

Long-eared jerboas are found in the Palearctic ecozone. The specific palearctic ecozone areas they are found in are southernmost Mongolia to the Takla-Makan Desert, Mengxin, Aerijin Mountain, and Qing-Zang Plateau regions of north western China.[3] Long-eared jerboas in most cases are nocturnal,[3] The long-eared jerboa's fur according to the book 100 animals to see before they die "is reddish yellow to pale russet with white underparts."[4] There is a long eared Jerboa coin.[5] Very little is known about the species.

Description[edit]

The long-eared jerboa's head and body length measures 70 mm (2.8 in) to 90 mm (3.5 in) while its tail is double this size, between 150 mm (5.9 in) and 162 mm (6.4 in).[3] Like its disproportionately long tail, its hind feet are also large, helping it to jump high, measuring between 40 mm (1.6 in) and 46 mm (1.8 in).[3] It weighs 24 g (0.85 oz) to 38 g (1.3 oz).[4] Long-eared jerboas usually eat insects.[3] They use sound to locate and capture them by performing fast leaps into the air.[3] According to animal diversity web "The two lateral digits are shorter than the three central ones. The central metatarsals are fused for a small distance. The feet are covered with tufts of bristly hairs. Long-eared jerboas have ears that are 1/3 longer than their heads. The incisors are thin and white. A small premolar can be found on each side of the upper jaw. Females have eight mammae."[3] Their fur is light reddish/brown with a white underside. Their tails are covered in fine hairs the same color as their body and have a black and white tuft on the end.

Conservation[edit]

The long-eared jerboa was identified as one of the top-10 "focal species" in 2007 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project.[6]

In 2007 Zoological Society of London EDGE of Existence Programme sent a researcher to study human impact on its environment. The study returned with video footage that has been noted as the "first time" the creature has been "recorded on camera".[7] This has helped to start a campaign to protect them.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Batsaikhan, N., Avirmed, D., Tinnin, D. & Smith, A.T. (2008). Euchoreutes naso. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 17 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Musser, G. G.; Carleton, M. D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 871–893. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Swanson, N.; Yahnke, C. (2007). "Euchoreutes naso". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Nick Garbutt; Mike Unwin (1 December 2007). 100 Animals to See Before They Die. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-1-84162-236-1. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  5. ^ George S. Čuhaj; Thomas Michael (11 July 2011). 2012 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001 to Date. Krause Publications. pp. 494–. ISBN 978-1-4402-1575-9. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Protection for 'weirdest' species". BBC. 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  7. ^ Baillie, J. (2007-12-10). "First known footage of wild long-eared jerboas". Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  8. ^ Morelle, R. (2007-12-10). "Mysterious mammal caught on film". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 

9. www.theanimalfiles.com

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