Lagurus luteus

Yellow lemming

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Mammals (Mammalia)
Order Rodents (Rodentia)
Family Cricetid rodents (Cricetidae)
Genus Steppe lemmings (Lagurus)
Species Authority Eversmann, 1840
Summary Status: rare (Category III), it lives in the Zaisan basin and the northwestern Tarbagatai mountain range. The lemming is a typical inhabitant of semidesert zones. In recent years, observations have confirmed periodic population explosions (occurring every 3-7 years) among lemmings in the Zaisan Valley. Its population fluctuates from 24 to 130 individuals per hectare. The basic limiting factors are deep freezing of the ground, frequent spring rains which cause flooding of burrows and death from predators. No protection measures have been undertaken. It is necessary to breed this species in the Almaty Zoo and to protect it in the Lake Zaisan Basin.

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