FIRST PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORDS AND NEW DISTRIBUTION RANGE OF THE ENDANGERED LONG-TAILED NESOKIA NESOKIA BUNNII (KHAJURIA, 1981)
Keywords:Conservation, Endemic, Garden of Eden, Mesopotamian Marshes, Rodents of Iraq-Iran.
In the 1970s, the world knew the long-tailed nesokia Nesokia bunnii (Khajuria, 1981) (Rodentia, Muridae) from the Mesopotamian marshes of Garden of Eden in Southern Iraq. This distinct rodent was known from only five voucher specimens collected at the confluence of Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in southern Iraq while its occurrence in Southwestern Iran had
never been reported. In the 1990s, a large extent of its natural habitat was catastrophically desiccated and the animal was last seen in the 1970s. Since then, the status of this elusive rodent was shrouded in mystery. In 2007, an extraordinary photograph of a carcass of this species came to the light from Hawizeh Marsh which was interpreted as concrete evidence of the species’ persistence in the marshes of southern Iraq after the desiccation in the last century. In 2021, after more than 40 years, exclusive photographic records of living N. bunnii were obtained for the first time from Central Marshes in southern Iraq and from Edhe’am Marsh in southwestern Iran. The new distribution range is highlighted in this note. Furthermore, the first photographs of living N. bunnii are provided along with notes on its ecology and behavior.
Copyright (c) 2021 Bulletin of the Iraq Natural History Museum (P-ISSN: 1017-8678 , E-ISSN: 2311-9799)
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