Preliminary study of rodents’ fauna (mammalia; rodentia) of Khaf township, southeast of Khorasan Razavi province, Iran, using pellets of birds of prey

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. Rodentology Research Department, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

The rodents’ fauna of boundary zones of Iran are still poorly known. In this research rodents fauna of Khaf township in northeast of Iran have been reported mainly based on pellets of birds of prey. Alive samples and also rodent’s remains from pellet materials of birds of prey in the present study was collected from 46 localities in Khaf, northeast of KhorasanRazavi province and different specimens were collected during the period of April, 2011 until September, 2012. A total of 718 prey bird pellet material and six complete (living) samples were identified based on morphological methods on external anatomy (in complete samples), teeth, cranial and dentary bones (in pellets) and as a result of the study, the rodents fauna of Khaf consists of twelve species belonging to nine genera and three families including; 1) dae (Allactaga elater), 2) Cricetidae (Cricetulus migratorius), 3) Muridae (Tatera indica, Gerbillus nanus, Meriones persicus, Meriones libycus, Meriones crassus, Meriones meridianus, Rhombomys opimus, Mus musculus, Nesokia indica ), and also one species of Lagomorpha (Ochotonidae: Ochotona rufescense ) and Soricomorpha (Soricidae: Crocidura gmelini).

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