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Rodents

Rodents are a huge group of mammals world wide and are well represented in Lebanon, this group includes the Squirrel, Porcupine (information given here) as well as dormice, mice, rats, voles, mole rats, hamsters, Jirds and Jerboas.

Here is a selection of Lebanon’s rodents:

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House Mouse
(Mus musculus)
Field Mouse
(Apodemus sylvaticus)
Euphrates Jerboa
(Allactaga euphratica)
Levant Vole
(Microtus guentheri)

More Details are given for two examples:


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A Lebanese Persian Squirrel in Captivity at Animal Encounter.

Persian Squirrel

(Sciurus anomalus syiacus)

Status: The Persian squirrel is scarce in Lebanon and is extremely wary of any human presence.

Description: Persian squirrels are quite similar in size (head and body measure approximately 20 cm) and appearance to the European Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris, but they do not grow ear tufts during the winter months as the European Red Squirrel does. They have flattened, bushy tails and generally their fur is reddish brown on the back and buff-white on the belly, although this seems to vary by region.

Habitat: This species can be found in both the mixed deciduous woodlands and the pine woodland habitats.

Habits: Persian Squirrels are mostly active during the day. They feed on cedar and pine seeds and the acorns of oaks trees, but may occasionally feed on birds and their eggs. Like other squirrels, they hoard seeds and acorns for the winter months, but they spend more time on the ground than other arboreal squirrels. Persian Squirrels breed throughout the spring and summer, with a litter size of about three. Nests are built in trees and made of moss and dry leaves.

Distribution: The Persian Squirrel is widespread throughout Asia Minor, northern Arabia, Transcaucasia, western Iran and the eastern Mediterranean region.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK_U2fm4Dyw


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A Lebanese Indian Porcupine in Captivity at Animal Encounter.

Indian Porcupine

(Hystrix indica indica)

Status: These large rodents are not rare but seldom seen. It is much more common to find one of their long, striped hind quills than the porcupines themselves.
Description: Indian porcupines are the largest rodents found in Arabia (head and body measure approximately 74 cm). Their bodies are covered in long stiff quills, which can be erected along the spine and rear part of the body. The quills on the front half of the body are dark chocolate brown, while the quills on the back half are banded black and white. They have short blunt muzzles, small eyes, and small human-like ears.

Habitat: This species prefers rocky areas and wadis. They live communally in large interconnected holes of six to eight individuals, and usually one individual to a hole. Sometimes their dens can also be found in caves and crevices.

Habits: Predominantly nocturnal, Indian Porcupines can sometimes be found sunbathing outside their holes. They feed mostly on vegetable matter such as roots, bulbs, fallen fruits and sometimes on cultivated plants such as onions, potatoes or carrots. The quills are an obvious deterrent to predators; when approached they often attack by running backwards. They also deter predators by making a loud rattling noise with their hollow quills. Young are born in a grass-lined burrow and litter sizes are usually one or two.

Distribution: The Indian Porcupine’s range includes Asia Minor, Arabia, India, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the eastern areas of the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions.

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