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Lepus insularis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus insularis
Species Authority: W. Bryant, 1891
Common Name(s):
English Black Jackrabbit, Espiritu Santo Jackrabbit
Spanish Liebre De Espiritu Santo, Liebre Negra, Liebre Prieta
Taxonomic Notes: No subspecies are recognized (Hall 1981, Hoffmann and Smith 2005). Lepus insularis is a close relative to L. californicus found on mainland Baja; however, there are sufficient differences between the two for classification as a distinct species (Dixon et al. 1983).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
This species is endemic of the Espiritu Santo Island, Gulf of California, Mexico. Lepus insularis qualifies for listing under criterion B1b(iii), with an extent of occurrence <100 km², but does not meet a second subcriteria required for listing under a threat category. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.
History:
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: L. insularis is known only from Espiritu Santo Island in the Gulf of California (Thomas and Best 1994). It occupies elevations ranging from sea level to 300 m (Nelson 1909). The Nature Conservancy states that the island has 23,383 acres or approximately 95 km², the total extent of occurrence for this species .
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Baja California Sur)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is common on the island. The population is considered stable (Chapman et al. 1983).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species prefers open areas and is common on rocky slopes, mesetas, dunes and sandy valleys (Cervantes et al. 1996). L. insularis inhabits tropical scrub of cactus (Pachycerus, Stenocereus, Opuntia) and shrubs (Prosopis, Ambrosia and Acacia) in dunes with grasses and halophytic plants (Cervantes et al. 1996). Most active during crepuscular hours, but is known to be active at all hours of the day (Cervantes et al. 1996). L. insularis forages on a wide variety of grasses, herbs, forbs, and will consume "the fleshy part of short cacti (Stenocereus) and young stems of shrubs (Prosopis)” (Cervantes et al. 1996).

The total length is 57.4 cm (Hall and Kelson 1959).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted on Espiritu Santo Island (Cervantes et al. 1996).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats associated with L. insularis are disturbance by humans, loss and disturbance of habitat by exotic fauna, and competition with domestic fauna.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: L. insularis is listed in the Mexican official norm NOM-059-ECOL-2001. Other has been checked off on the conservation measures list regarding research actions and has been identified as "genetic."

Citation: Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H. 2008. Lepus insularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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