Steppe lemming


Steppe lemming (Lagurus lagurus)

No suicides

They are known from children‘s books, video games and by their supposedly selfless behaviour: lemmings go on mass migrations and voluntarily jump off cliffs into death due to food shortages. It is all a fairytale that has been going on for over half a century. However, it true that the small vole relatives can reproduce rapidly if there are good environmental conditions. That is also important for prey pickers such as snow owls.


Category: Mammal

Weight: 15 -40g

Size: 8-12cm, tail only 1cm

Age: 2-3 years

Sexually mature: 4 weeks

gestation period: 20 days

food: seeds, green parts of plants, roots, buds, flowers

Way of life: Steppe lemmings dig burrows that reach 90 cm underground. They lead to a nest chamber which has a diameter of about 10 cm and is padded with plant materials. They hide in these buildings during the day. At night they go in search of food consisting of all kinds of plant parts.

Danger: not endangered

distribution area