general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2020 Vol. 20 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfEvstafiev, I. 2020. The southern birch mouse Sicista loriger (Dipodoidea) in the Crimea: distribution, habitats, seasonal activity, and abundance. Theriologia Ukrainica, 20: 7990.



The southern birch mouse Sicista loriger (Dipodoidea) in the Crimea: distribution, habitats, seasonal activity, and abundance


Igor Evstafiev


Crimean Republican Sanitary-Epidemiological Station (Simferopol, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2020. Vol. 20: 7990.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The southern birch mouse is a rare and non-abundant species of small mammals of the fauna of the Crimean Peninsula. Its geographic range has gradually reduced during the 20th century. Initially, the southern birch mouse occupied almost the entire territory of the steppe and foothills of the Crimea. As the area of virgin and unploughed lands decreased, the species disappeared from the most part of the peninsula. Whereas the species had been recorded in 11 administrative districts in the middle of the twentieth century, now it is known only in three districts, in two of which it is extremely rare. Currently the southern birch mouse exists in two isolated populationsa western (Tarkhankut) and an eastern (Kerch)separated by 200 km of anthropogenic landscapes. Census of small mammals has been carried out on trap-lines for the past 40 years. In a total of 667100 traps-nights, 144 birch mice were collected. Additionally, remains of 56 birch mouse specimens were found in 16862 pellets of the long-eared owl. The birch mouse population in the Tarkhankut Peninsula is small (12 specimens were trapped and 39 specimens were identified in pellets), and its range is largely restricted. The species population in the Kerch Peninsula is larger (132 birch mice were trapped and 17 specimens were identified in pellets of birds of prey) and its range occupies the entire area of the Kerch Peninsula. Data of long-term epidemiological surveys showed that the ratio of trapped birch mice in the whole of the Crimea is 0.21 %, whereas their ratio in the steppe zone is 0.29 % at a relative abundance of 0.03 specimens per 100 trap-nights. Birch mice are active from mid-April to mid-November. The peak of activity occurs in April, when 49.9 % of animals were trapped. Among natural enemies, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) can pose a real threat to birch mice, as well as the long-eared owl (Asio otus) to local micropopulations, especially during the breeding season. In our opinion, despite the generally low abundance of birch mice in the Crimea and the fragmentation of its geographic range, extinction does not threatens this species in the peninsula (especially its Kerch population) under the current management system. Conservation of the southern birch mice populations in the Crimea requires a detailed study of the species ecology, especially of limiting factors.


southern birch mouse, geographic range, population abundance, seasonal activity, Crimea.



Aniskin, V. M., P. L. Bogomolov, Yu. M. Kovalskaya, et al. 2003. Karyological differentiation of birch mice from the group subtilis (Rodentia, Sicista) on the southeast of the Russian plain. In: Averyanov, A. O., N. I. Abramson. (ed.). Systematics, Phylogeny and Paleontology of Small Mammals. Zoological institute, Saint Petersburg, 2730. (In Russian)
Baskevich, M. I., M. L. Oparin, E. V. Cherepanova, E. A. Avilov. 2010. Chromosomal differentiation of the steppe birch mouse (Sicista subtilis, Rodentia, Dipodoidea) in the Saratov Volga region. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal, 89 (6): 749757. (In Russian)
Baskevich, M. I., M. L. Oparin. 2009. Chromosomal approaches in the study of taxonomic and genetic diversity of rodents in the Lower Volga region. Results and prospects of application. Povolzhsky Ecologicheskii Zhurnal, 1: 314. (In Russian)
Baskevich, M. I., N. M. Okulova, S. G. Potapov, N. A. Illarionova, E. Yu. Krysanov, N. A. Shchipanov, M. L. Oparin, A. A. Vlasov. 2005. On the diagnosis and distribution of sibling species of birch mouse (Rodentia, Dipodoidea, Sicista) on the territory of the Russian Plain and the Caucasus. In: Abramson, N. I., A. O. Averyanov. (ed.). Systematics, Paleontology and Phylogeny of Rodents, SPb, 2240. (Series: Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS; Vol. 306). (In Russian)
Bauer K. 1960. Die Saugetiere des Neusiedlersee-Gebietes (Osterreich). Bonner Zool. Beitr., 11 (24): 141344.
Birulya, A. A. 1930. Preliminary report on rodents (Rodentia) from the Quaternary deposits of the Crimea. Reports of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Series A, No. 23: 617622. (In Russian)
Chirniy, V. I., A. F. Alekseev, N. N. Tovpinets. 1989. Modern distribution of the steppe birch mouse on the Crimean peninsula. All-Union Congress on the Problems of Cadastre and Registration of Animal World, Part 1. Bashkirian Book Press, Ufa, 118119. (In Russian)
Cserkesz, T. 2007: High relative frequency of Sicista subtilis (Dipodidae, Rodentia) in owl-pellets collected in Borsodi Mezoseg (NE Hungary). Fol. Hist. nat. Mus. Matr., 31: 173178.
Cserkesz, T., A. Gubanyi. 2008. New record of Southern birch mouse, Sicista subtilis trizona in Hungary. Folia Zool., 57 (3): 308312.
Demeter, G., J. Obuch. 2004. Recent occurrence of the Southern birch mouse (Sicista subtilis) near Leva. In: J. Kautman, E. Stloukal (eds). Zborn??k Abstraktov z Konferencie 10. Feriancove? dni. Faunium, Bratislava, 910.
Dulitsky, A. I. 2001. Biodiversity of Crimea. Mammals: History, State, Protection, Prospects. Sonat, Simferopol, 1208. (In Russian)
Evstafiev, I. L. 2015. Results of a 30-years-long investigation of small mammals in Crimea. Part 1. Introduction, fauna com-position, ranges. Proceedings of the Theriological School, 13: 2034. (In Russian)
Evstafiev, I. L. 2020. Chorology of the steppe birch mouse Sicista loriger (Nathusius, 1840) on the Crimean peninsula. Novitates Theriologicae, 11: 9292. (In Russian)
Flint, V. E. 1960. Materials on the biology of the steppe birch mouse. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal, 39 (6): 942946. (In Russian)
Gromov, I. M. 1961. Fossil Upper Quaternary rodents of the foothill Crimea. Moskva, 1192. (Series: Proceedings of the Commission for the Study of the Quaternary. Volume 17). (In Russian)
Ham I., Tvrtkovic N., Kataranovski D. & Soldatovic B. 1983: New data on southern birch mouse (Sicista subtilis Pallas, 1773; Rodentia, Mammalia) from Deliblatska pescara (Vojvodina, Yugoslavia). Rad JAZU, 404: 171181.
Instruction... 1978. Instruction on census of rodents for the anti-plague stations of the Soviet Union. Ministry of Healthcare of the USSR. Saratov, 179. (In Russian)
Karaseva, E. V., A. Yu. Telitsyna. 1996. Methods of the Study of Mammals in Field Conditions. Moskva, 1240. (In Russian)
Khodykina, Z. S. 1965. To the ecology of the steppe birch mouse (Sicista subtilis) of the Crimea. Kyiv University Bulletin, 7: 120124. (In Russian)
Kovalskaya, Y. M., V. M. Aniskin, P. L. Bogomolov, A. V. Surov, I. A. Tikhonov, G. N. Tikhonova, T. J. Robinson, V. T. Volobouev 2011. Karyotype reorganisation in the subtilis group of birch mice (Rodentia, Dipodidae, Sicista): unexpected taxonomic diversity within a limited distribution. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 132 (4): 271288.
Kucheruk, V. V. 1952. Quantitative census of major pest rodents and shrews. Methods of census of the number and geographical distribution of terrestrial vertebrates. Publ. of AN the USSR, Moskva, 945. (In Russian)
Kucheruk, V. V., E. I. Korenberg. 1964. Quantitative census of major warm-blooded transmitters of disease. Methods of Study of Natural Foci of Human Diseases. Medicine, Moskva, 129154. (In Russian)
Lebedev, V., N. Poplavskaya, A. Bannikova, M. Rusin, A. Surov, Y. Kovalskaya. 2019. Genetic variation in the Sicista subtilis (Pallas, 1773) species group (Rodentia, Sminthidae), as compared to karyotype differentiation. Mammalia, 84 (2): 184194.
Mehely, L. 1913: [Birch mice of Hungary]. Mathem. es Term. tud. Kozlem., 31 (1): 345 (In Hungarian)
Pavlinov, I. Ya., A. A. Lisovsky. 2012. Mammals of Russia: Systematic-geographical reference book. KMK Scientific Publishing Association, Moskva, 1604. (In Russian)
Petrov, B. M. 1992: Mammals of Yugoslavia, Insectivores and Rodents. Natural History Museum in Belgrade, Belgrade, B 48: 183188.
Popov, V. V. 1960. Mammals of the Volga-Kama region. Insectivores, Bats, Rodents. Kazanskii Filial, AN SSSR, Kazan (In Russian)
Popov, V. A. 1967. About standardization of census methods of mouse-like rodents and small mammals. Fauna and Ecology of Rodents (Materials on Rodents). Issue 8. Publ. of the Moscow State Univ., Moskva, 197208. (In Russian)
Pucek, Z. 1999: Sicista subtilis (Pallas, 1773) The Southern Birch Mouse. In: Mitchell-Jones, A. J., G. Amori, W. Bogdanowich, B. Krystufek, P. J. H. Reijners, F. Spitzenberger, M. Stubbe, J. B. M. Thissen, V. Vohralik, J. Zima (eds). The Atlas of European mammals. Academic Press, London, 306307.
Shenbrot, G. I., V. E. Sokolov, V. G. Geptner, Yu. M. Kovalskaya. 1995. Mammals of Russia and adjacent territories. Jerboa-like rodents. Science, Moscow, 1576. (In Russian)
Tovpinets, N. N., Evstafiev, I. L. 2002. Rare and protected mammal species of Crimea in the feed of raptor birds. Nature Reserves of Crimea. Biodiversity on Priority Territories : Proc. of the 2nd Scientific Conf. Simferopol, 254257. (In Russian)
Tovpinets, N. N., Evstafiev, I. L. 2005. Rare, protected and threatened species of terrestrial mammals of Ukraine on territory of Crimea: past, present, future. Report 1 and 2. Nature Reserves of Crimea. Nature Conservation, Biodiversity, Eco-Education. Part 2. Proc. of the 3rd Scientific Conf. Simferopol, 180189. (In Russian)
Tovpinets, M., I. Evstafiev. 2008. Rare species of terrestrial mammals in the Crimea: modern state and perspectives of conservations. Rare Theriofauna and Its Conservation. Luhansk, 199208. (Series: Proceedings of the Theriological School; Vol. 9). (In Ukrainian)
Tsvetkova, A. A. 1978. Peculiarities of reproduction of the steppe and the forest birch mice in the South Urals. Ekologia, 3: 9092. (In Russian)
Zagorodniuk, I., N. Filipchuk. 1999. Bern species of rodents in the Red Data Book of Ukraine (Spermophilus citellus, Sicista subtilis, Spalax graecus). Zagorodniuk, I. (ed.). Mammals of Ukraine, Protected by the Bern Convention. Kyiv, 152162. (Series: Proceedings of the Theriological school; Vol. 2). (In Ukrainian)
Zagorodniuk, I. 2005. Biogeography of mammals cryptic species in the Eastern Europe. Scientific Bulletin of the Uzhgorod University. Series Biology, 17: 527. (In Ukrainian)
Zagorodniuk, I. 2015. Birch mice (Sicista) in the fauna of Ukraine: estimates of past and present abundance. Mammal Research in the Steppe Regions. Ukrainian Theriological Society, Kyiv, 135141. (Series: Novitates Theriologicae, Pars 9) (In Ukrainian)
Zagorodniuk, I. 2019. Close non-murid rodent species in the Ukrainian fauna: differences, biogeography, ecomorphology. Theriologia Ukrainica, 17: 827. (In Ukrainian)


to main page of journal >>>

created: 30.12.2020
updated: 23.05.2021

Locations of visitors to this page