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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Southern Peru and Northern Chile (Simmons 2005).
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Ecology

Habitat

Atacama Desert Habitat

One of the habitats of this species is the Atacama Desert, along the northwest coast of Chile. This desert is essentially bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west.extending nearly 1600 kilometres and reaching a maximum width of 180 km. In many areas rainfall has never been recorded, and the Atacama is considered one of the driest deserts in the world. Consequently, an extremely arid, almost barren, landscape predominates. Despite the aridity of this desert, some cacti (Eulychnia), perennials (Nolana), and mesquite (Prosopis) occur in basins where occasional water accumulation occurs. Relatively few animal species have adapted to this arid environment and therefore, faunal diversity and density is extremely low, while endemism is high. Even bacteria are scarce, and in many portions of the desert insects and fungi are absent. While bacterial occurrences are even scarce compared to other deserts, there are a number of extremophiles and lithic microbial communities which specialize in exploiting minerals such as dolomite, quartz, gypsum, halite and limestone.

Few fauna have adapted to successfully inhabit this extremely arid habitat. Only 120 vertebrate taxa are found in the ecoregion. There are approximately 550 species of vascular plants representing 225 genera and 80 families in the lomas formations. The most diverse families are the Asteraceae, Nolanaceae, Cactaceae, Boraginaceae, and Apiaceae. Plant endemism is very high (in excess of 60 percent). Three cacti are endemic to the northern part of the Atacama Desert; in particular these endemic plants include Eulychnia iquiquensis  and Copiapoa spp. Endemic shrubs of the ecoregion include Berberis litoralis, Anisomeria littoralis, Atriplex taltalensis, Adesmia viscidissima, Croton chilensisNicotiana solanifolia, Teucrium nudicaule, Monttea chilensis, Stevia trifida, Senecio almeidae and Gutierrezia taltalensis. Endemic plants near Tocopilla are Malesherbia tocopillana, Mathewsia collina and Nolana tocopillensis.

Several mammalian species are found in the Atacama Desert, including the minute Near Threatened Atacama Myotis (Myotis atacamensis); Elegant Fat-tailed Opossum (Thylamys elegans); Manso Grass Mouse (Akodon olivaceus); Osgood's Leaf-eared Mouse (Phyllotis osgoodi); Darwin's Leaf-eared Mouse (Phyllotis darwini) and the South American Gray Fox (Pseudalopex griseus).

Several birds, such as the Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) and the Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) visit the lomas at the onset of austral winter, when many insect pupae hatch. The lomas in bloom are also visited by several species of hummingbirds (e.g., Rhodopis spp., Myrtis spp., and Thaumastura spp.). There are six restricted species of birds found in the north of this ecoregion and the Sechura Desert ecoregion; these birds include the Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii), Thick-billed Miner (Geositta crassirostris), White-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia albigula), Cactus Canastero (Asthenes cactorum), Slender-billed Finch (Xenospingus concolor, and Tamarugo Conebill (Conirostrum tamarugense). The Andean Condor is also found here in the Atacama. The Chilean Woodstar, Slender-billed Finch, and Tamarugo Conebill are examples of threatened species occurring in the ecoregion.

The South American Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus), found only in southern Peru and northern Chile, occurs in the Atacama Desert. Near-endemic amphibians are represented by the Vallenar toad (Rhinella atacamensis), which occurs in and near oases and streams year-around. Breeding occurs in permanent pools (including livestock water tanks), streams and rivers.Eggs are laid in long strings, and the larvae develop where these were laid. R. atacamensis achieves is highest altitude occurrence at 2574 metres near Mostazal.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Probably lives in rock crevices in Chile. This species hibernate.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Barquez, R. & Diaz, M.

Reviewer/s
Medellín, R. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Near Threatened because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, it is very dependent of its specific habitat and has become severely fragmented. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion B.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
There is no information on population.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Threats to this species are unknown.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Protect the sites.
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Wikipedia

Atacama myotis

The Atacama myotis (Myotis atacamensis) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is found in Chile and Peru, an example ecoregion of occurrence being the Chilean matorral.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barquez, R. & Diaz, M. (2008). "Myotis atacamensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2013. Chilean matorral. ed. M.McGinley. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
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