IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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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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