Silvery mountain vole

Alticola argentatus

TAXONOMY

Alticola argentatus Severtzov, 1879, Kazakhstan. Nine subspecies are recognized; the taxonomic status of several is unclear.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

DISTRIBUTION

Central Asia in the Tien Shan mountains. HABITAT

Alpine scree slopes and other rocky areas.

BEHAVIOR

Both nocturnal and diurnal. It builds large nests among rocks and is also active underneath snow cover during the winter.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Foliage, stems, seeds, and roots. They construct food stores of cut plants that they dry in the sun before caching for the winter months.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Produces 2-3 litters of around five young a year. Reproductive output varies with altitude and higher productivity tends to occur in lower altitude populations.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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