DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThis is a widespread species. Ochotona pusilla is known "from the upper Volga River and southern Ural Mountains south and east to the border of China," Kazakhstan, and Russia (Smith et al. 1990). The westernmost extent of O. pusilla is the easternmost edge of the European continent (Smith 1994). Despite its presence in Europe, it is routinely left off European mammal lists (Smith 1994). However, "the range of this species has contracted significantly in historical times" (Smith et al. 1990). The past distribution extended into western Europe during the Pleistocene, with a new specimen record extending its northern-most presence to Cumbria county in the UK (Fisher and Yalden 2004). By the onset of the Holocene, O. pusilla still occurred in Hungary. This distribution moved eastward, so that by the 10th century it occurred in the Ukraine and by the 18th century it could be found âbetween the Don and the Volgaâ and finally, âonly east of the Volgaâ by the 19th century (Smith 1994). The cause for distribution contraction has been two-fold; 1) naturally occurring climate change from the Pleistocene to Holocene; and 2) anthropogenic changes like overgrazing and agriculture (Smith 1994).