Tatra pine vole

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Tatra pine vole
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Microtus
Subgenus: Terricola
Species: M. tatricus
Binomial name
Microtus tatricus
(Kratochvíl, 1952)

Microtus tatricus tatricus
Microtus tatricus zykovi

The Tatra pine vole (Microtus tatricus), also called the Tatra vole or Tatra ground vole, is a species of vole endemic to the Carpathian mountain range in Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania. Two subspecies have been recognised. M. t. tatricus occupies the western part of the range in Slovakia and Poland, and M. t. zykovi is found in Ukraine and Romania.

Habitat preferences

The Tatra vole lives at altitudes of 650 to 2350 m above sea level. The habitat occupied by the species is either humid rocky meadows in the subalpine zone or climax upper montane forest. Its distribution range is insular and fragmented as a consequence of landscape altitudinal structure and habitat heterogeneity. The population of the Tatra vole has been estimated to 200,000–250,000 individuals and no population fluctuation or population outbreaks were recorded.

Evolutionary history

The reliable diagnostic character of M. tatricus is its karyotype. Its diploid number of chromosomes and the basic karyotype characteristics (2N = 32, NF = 46) are unique among voles of the genus Microtus. The species is genetically most closely related to alpine voles Microtus multiplex, Microtus liechtensteini and Microtus bavaricus.[2] It split from the common ancestor as the first, and the oldest fossil found to date is from Holocene.

The species is listed as Lower Risk/Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in Appendix II of the Bern Convention.


  1. ^ Zima, J.; Vohralík, V. & Martínková, N. (2008). "Microtus tatricus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 June 2009.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ Martínková, N., J. Zima, M. Jaarola, M. Macholán and F. Spitzenberger. 2007. The origin and phylogenetic relationships of Microtus bavaricus based on karyotype and mitochondrial DNA sequences. Folia Zool. Brno 56, 39-49.
  • Jurdíková N., Žiak D., Kocian Ľ. 2000. Habitat requirements of Microtus tatricus: microhabitat and macrohabitat. Výskum a ochrana cicavcov na Slovensku 4, 41-49.
  • Martínková N., Dudich A. 2003. The fragmented distribution range of Microtus tatricus and its evolutionary implications. Folia Zoologica 52, 11-22.
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World: a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
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