Desmana moschata

Russian desman

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Mammals (Mammalia)
Order Insect-eating mammals (Insectivora)
Family Moles (Talpidae)
Genus Desmans (Desmana)
Species Authority Linnaeus, 1758
Summary Status: vulnerable (Category II), decreasing in number, endemic of the CIS. In Kazak-stan, it originally inhabited the mouth of the Ural River and the Kushum Channel. From time to time this animal can also be found in the delta of the Volga River. In 1961, it was brought to the River Ui in the Che-lyabinsk Region from where it reached the Kostanay region. The Russian desman lives in water vegetations along deep lakes and rivers. The number of this species is about 3,000 individuals. The basic limiting factors are drainage of arable lands, the clearing of forests, contamination of rivers and lakes and poaching. The protection measures in Kazakstan include a hunting ban that has been in effect since 1920. To continue protection activities, it is necessary to reinforce the protection of this species in the existing reserves and to create a new reserve along the Ural River.

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