A zoogeographical analysis of rodent fauna of Jordan

Mohammad A. Abu Baker* and Zuhair S. Amr Department of Biology, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. 
* Corresponding author: ma.abubaker@ju.edu.jo
Department of Biology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Abstract: The rodent fauna of Jordan is highly heterogenous, totaling 28 species and originating from three zoogeographical affinities: Palaearctic, Afrotropical, and Oriental, in addition to several wide-ranging, Eastern Mediterranean and introduced species. The distribution of rodents in Jordan represents a reflection of their global distribution ranges and habitat preferences. For several species, Jordan lies at the edge of their distribution ranges (e.g. Apodemus sp., Nannospalax ehrenbergi), other have wide distribution (e.g. Jaculus jaculus), while some are represented by relict populations (e.g. Eliomys melanurus and Acomys russatus lewisi). Species associated with the temperate forest of northern Jordan includes Sciurus anomalus and two wood mice, Apodemus mystacinus and A. flavicollis, while non-forested areas are represented by Nannospalax ehrenbergi and Microtus guentheri. Strict sand dwellers include Gerbillus cheesmani and G. gerbillus. Petrophiles associated with sandstone or black lava deserts are exemplified by Acomys russatus, A. r. lewsi, H. indica and S. calurus. Others including: Jaculus jaculus, G. nanus, G. henleyi, Meriones crassus, and M. libycus are all desert-adapted species with a wide distribution occuring in areas of scarce vegetation, wadibeds, and marabs with clay, loess, or gravel surfaces. A single species, Gerbillus dasyurus, exhibits a wide range of distribution over diverse habitat types. Species composition is characterized by substantial variability of rodent assemblages due to habitat requirements and replacements of sibling species.

Keywords: Habitat preference, Jordan, Rodents, Zoogeography.

Jordan Journal of Natural History, 4, (2017),  47-58.

Other articles published in the same issue: Jordan Journal of Natural History, vol.4, iss. 4.


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