rodents, squirrels, hamsters + carnivores
Mongolia has a plethora of rodents, the identification of which I
found rather confusing.
Marmots (Mongolian tarvaga, Bobac or Steppe Marmot, Marmota
bobac) are clear enough — they are bigger than anything else,
almost wombat-sized. Chinzo called the smaller burrowing mammals we
saw either "Mongolian hamsters" (zuram) or long-tailed souslik
(gozooroi zuram), and the drivers mentioned a bozlog
(smaller than a zuram) found in the south. The guidebook to Gobi
Gurvansaikhan national park says there are 18 species of pika at Yolyn Am.
And then there are jerboa and voles...
I finally found someone who knows about Mongolian mammals - the Russian naturalist
has provided the species IDs below. Check out
his Mongolian wildlife notes
and trip diary
The following photographs are of what Chinzo called the "long-tailed
souslik" — Dinets says they are long-tailed ground squirrels
The following two are both from Yolyn Am. The first looks like the
same critter above, but is apparently an Alashan ground squirrel
Spermophilus alashanicus; the second is a pika Ochotona
a young Central Asian hare, Lepus tolai
I saw a larger tree squirrel at Khovsgol, and several hares as well.
At one point the van I wasn't in saw a silver fox cross the road.
We didn't see any wolves, but we did see a sheep that had been killed
by one, barely 20 metres from the ger I was sleeping in. I saw a pine
marten at Manshir, and a hedgehog at Juuchin Gobi ger camp. [Dinets says
silver foxes and martens are very rare in Mongolia, and that the animals
we saw were probably a corsac fox and a sable.]
Up: 2005 Mongolia trip