Authors: B. Hoshino, S. Ganzorig, K. Umegaki and S. T. Nurtazin
The Brandt’s vole (Microtus brandti) is one of the most characteristic rodents in the Mongolian dry steppe region. Confinement of voles to degraded or overgrazed pastures is so high, that many researchers suggested the vole as ecological indicator species for the pasture degradation. However, recent studies revealed that this rodent species performs very important function, as a key stone species in Mongolian steppe. During field survey in Hustai National Park and its buffer zone area in 2013, we found active colonies of Brandt vole in an abandoned cropland area. In the present report we characterize spatial features of Brandt’s vole colonies in conditions of abandoned cropland territory. Occurrences of Brandt's vole in abandoned cropland indicated high ecological potential of this rodent to survive and explore artificial landscape. Undoubtedly, burrowing activity of this rodent species in abandoned cropland is important in eco-restoration of these habitats.
Keywords: Mongolia, rodents, Microtus brandti, spatial distribution, LoCoH modeling, Maxent modeling, home range, habitat utilization