The golden hamster or Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a rodent in the subfamily Cricetinae, the hamsters. Their natural geographical range is limited to arid areas of northern Syria and southern Turkey. Their numbers have been declining due to a loss of habitat caused by agriculture and deliberate elimination by humans. Thus, in the wild, they are now considered vulnerable by the IUCN. However, captive-breeding programs are well established, and captive-bred golden hamsters are often kept as small house pets. Additionally, they are also used as scientific research animals throughout the world.
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