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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to Mexico, where it is confined to a few localities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca (Goodwin 1969; Ceballos and Oliva 2005). The type locality is Zanatepec (Patton 2005). Ceballos and Oliva (2005) state it is found from sea level to 30 m asl, but Goodwin (1969) states that the species is known from the "foothills", and when the collecting localities are mapped, they clearly include areas higher than 30 m asl.
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Ecology

Habitat

Southern Pacific Dry Forests Habitat

This taxon is found in the Southern Pacific dry forests ecoregion, which is situated along the southeastern versant of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains including the Pacific Ocean coastal plain. These forests are a key locus of endemism for butterflies, and has the greatest diversity of scorpions and spiders in the entirety of Mexico. This ecoregion is classified in the Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests biome. The Southern Pacific dry forests exhibit a moderate to high faunal species richness; for example, there are a total of 744 vertebrate taxa recorded in the ecoregion, with a particularly large number of endemic reptiles.

The ecoregion elevation ranges from sea level to 1400 metres. The climate is tropical and dry, with precipitation levels of 800 millimetres (mm) per annum. There is an extended arid season, which factor drives the prevalence of deciduous vegetation. The forests grow chiefly on shallow, well-drained soils derived from limestone. Closer to the base of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, the soils are more rocky, and are derived from igneous rocks.

The dominant plant species include Mauto (Lysiloma divaricatum), Bursera excelsa and Fragrant Bursera (B. fagaroides), which are typically found in association with Pochote (Ceiba aesculifolia), Comocladia engleriana, and Trichilia americana. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, the macro plant species more generally in evidence are Ficus insipida, F. pertusa, Breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum), Licania arborea, Sideroxylon capiri and Elephant Ear (Enterolobium cyclocarpum).

There are a number of anuran species present in the ecoregion, including: Blunt-toed Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus modestus VU); Cloud Forest Stream Frog (Ptychohyla euthysanota NT), found from southeast Oaxaca to Guatemala and eastern El Salvador; Matuda's Spikethumb Frog  (Plectrohyla matudai VU). A special status caecilian found in the ecoregion is the Mexican Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus VU), a fossorial species that can attain lengths up to sixty centimetres. A special status salamander found in the ecoregion is the Sierra Juarez Salamander (Pseudoeurycea juarezi CR), a near-endemic known only between Cerro Pelón and Vista Hermosa in the Sierra de Juarez, north-central Oaxaca. The White-lipped Peeping Frog (Eleutherodactylus albolabris CR), a near-endemic known chiefly from Agua del Obispo, central Guerrero.

The Southern Pacific dry forests contain numerous reptilian taxa, including the following endemics: Bocourt's Anole (Norops baccatus); Taylor's Anole (Norops taylori), known only to  Puerto Marquez area, in northern Acapulco, Guerrero; Simmons' Anole (Anolis simmonsi), restricted to the vicinity of Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca; Stegneger's Blackcollar Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus stejnegeri), restricted to the Pacific versant in the state of Guerrero, Mexico; Red Earth Snake (Geophis russatus), found in a very narrow range outside of Putla, Oaxaca; Sierra Mije Earth Snake (Geophis anocularis), known only from around Totontepec on the Atlantic versant of the Sierra Mixe, Oaxaca; Ramirez`s Hooknose Snake (Ficimia ramirezi), restricted to the Pacific versant of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Niltepec, Oaxaca; Halberg's Cloud Forest Snake (Cryophis hallbergi), found only in northern Oaxaca, at Sierra de Juarez and Sierra Mazateca; Isthmian Earth Snake (Geophis isthmicus), known only from the vicinity of Tehuantepec, Mexico; the endemic Macdougall's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus macdougalli).

Characteristic mammalian fauna include the endemic Oaxacan Pocket Gopher (Orthogeomys cuniculus), restricted to several sites on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Other mammals seen in the ecoregion include the: Lesser Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae VU), Tropical Hare (Lepus flavigularis EN), restricted to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca to the extreme west of  Chiapas; Greater Bulldog Bat (Noctilio leporinus), Coati (Nasua narica), Buller’s Pocket Gopher (Pappogeomys bulleri), Javelina (Tayassu tajacu), and Mexican Long-tongued Bat (Choeronycteris mexicana NT).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Goodwin (1969) states that this species is known from arid tropical habitats, and the region where it has been recorded still contains some dry forests, although one of the collecting localities (Ingenio Santo Domingo) in the gazetteer to Goodwin (1969) is described as a sugar refinery surrounded by sugarcane fields, which makes it at least possible that this species is tolerant of some degree of disturbance. Nothing more is known about the natural history of this species (Ceballos and Oliva 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Castro-Arellano, I. & Vázquez, E.

Reviewer/s
McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Data Deficient in view of the absence of recent information on its extent of occurrence, threats, status, and ecological requirements. Field studies on the population status of this species and its tolerance to disturbance should be research priorities.

History
  • 1996
    Critically Endangered
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Population

Population
There is no current information about its population status; the most recent collecting record appears to be from the early 1960s, and it is unknown whether this species has even been looked for since that time.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threats to this species are unknown. The range of this species has been, and continues to be, heavily modified. Deforestation for plantation agriculture and grazing by cattle are occurring and are possible threats, but nothing is known about this species' tolerance to habitat disturbance.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
More research is needed to determine its current status, distribution, and habitat requirements (specifically the degree to which this species tolerates disturbance). It is protected as a 'threatened species' under Mexican law.
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Wikipedia

Oaxacan pocket gopher

The Oaxacan pocket gopher (Orthogeomys cuniculus) is a species of rodent in the family Geomyidae. It is endemic to Mexico.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Castro-Arellano, I. & Vázquez, E. (2008). Orthogeomys cuniculus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 7 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of data deficient
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