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SPECIES Sicista betulina

Author:Pallas, 1779.
Citation:Nova Spec. Quad. Glir. Ord.: 332.
Common Name:Northern Birch Mouse
Type Locality:SW Siberia, birch plain on bank of Ishim River, and Barabinskaya Step.
Distribution:Boreal and montane forests from Norway and Denmark, east to Lake Baikal region, north to the Artic Circle at the White Sea and Usa River, south to Austria, Carpathian and Sayan Mtns (Corbet, 1978c). See Gromov and Erbajeva (1995), Kuznetsov (1965), Sludskii (1977), and Shenbrot et al. (1995) for range in Russia. Corbet (1978c) included the Ussuri region of SE Siberia, but Sokolov et al. (1989) considered the Ussuri region records questionable, and Pavlinov (in litt., 1994) and Shenbrot et al. (1995) indicate that the species does not extend east of Lake Baikal.
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (nt).
Comments:Sokolov et al. (1982, 1987b) gave karyological and spermatozoal characters that distinguished this species from S. napaea and S. pseudonapaea. Pallas' type specimen was probably not preserved (Ognev, 1963b:33). Review of taxonomy, characteristics, ecology, and distribution available for Europe (Pucek, 1982; Mitchell-Jones, 1999), Austria (Spitzenberger, et al., 1995), East Baltic region (Timm et al., 1998), E Carpathian Mtns of Slovakia (Danko, 1994), Sumava Mtns of SW Bohemia (Andra and „ervený, 1994), Svjatoj Nos peninsula and isthmus in Lake Baikal (Reiter et al., 1995), and Russia (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995; Shenbrot et al., 1995). Fragments in owl pellets from Schleswig-Holstein is the first and only record for S. betulina since 1950 (Borkenhagen, 1996). Miljutin (1999) provided a comprehensive review of the morphology of S. betulina and its phylogenetic and adaptive significance. He (Miljutin, 1997, 1998) also included the species in a treatise on ecomorphology of Baltic rodents and review of ecological strategies in those populations. See comment under S. strandi, a taxon that was once included in S. betulina. For synonyms see Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) and Corbet (1978c).
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Offspring:

Synonyms:

    montana Méhely, 1913
    norvegica Chaworth-Musters, 1927
    taigica Stroganov and Potapkina, 1950
    tatricus Méhely, 1913

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