Observations on the Mole Vole, Ellobius lutescens Thomas 1897, (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Turkey


Abstract: Ellobius lutescens is the only species of the genus Ellobius living in eastern Anatolia. They are highly adapted to underground life. There is no knowledge about the ecological peculiarities, population structures or detailed range of this species in Turkey. Data were recorded during field studies and laboratory observations of 42 specimens collected from 12 different localities. The distribution area is 8 km north of Muradiye in the north, the eastern border beyond the Turkish border, 32 km north of Çatak in the south, 5-6 km east of Uysal in the west, and Yüksekova in the southeast, the eastern border beyond the Turkish border. Their tunnel system is very complex and there is no typical gallery system. The vertical and horizontal diameters of their tunnels are 5-8 and 6-9 cm, respectively. They live as a family group. The home range size of a family is about 12 x 9 m, but changes according to the abundance of food. They eat all kinds of vegetation. An individual consumes 79.66 g of food a day. There is a linear relationship between the weight of the animal and consumed food (r = 0.63). They give birth at least twice a year having 2-4 pups. This species is not endangered in Turkey.

Keywords: Rodentia, Ellobius lutescens, ecology, distribution, Turkey

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