Microcavia niata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Caviidae

Scientific Name: Microcavia niata (Thomas, 1898)
Common Name(s):
English Andean Mountain Cavy
Taxonomic Notes:

There are two recognized subspecies (Lacher in press).

M. n. niata Thomas, 1898 – Border region of southwestern La Paz, Bolivia and northwestern Oruro, Chile.

M. n. pallidior Thomas, 1902 – Oruro and Potosí departments, Bolivia.


Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-10
Assessor(s): Bernal, N. & Dunnum, J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Vargas, J., Jayat, J. & Ojeda, R.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the Altiplano of southwest Bolivia and northeast Chile (Dunnum 2015). It has not been collected from southern Bolivia and bordering northern Argentina but it is expected to occur there. It has an elevational range of 3,500 to 4,000 m asl. There are two recognized subspecies. M. n. niata is found on along the border region of southwestern La Paz, Bolivia and northwestern Oruro, Chile. M. n. pallidior is found in the Oruro and Potosi departments of Bolivia (Dunnum 2015, Lacher 2016).
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Chile
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):3500
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is locally common where there are colonies. It has been recorded in colonies of 15 to 30 individuals occupying small areas (Marquet et al. 1993). They appear to be highly territorial and aggressive, and give alarm calls when threatened (Lacher 2016).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is usually found in flat areas of Puna grassland. In Chile it has been recorded exclusively from boggy habitat. The species lives in colonies in burrows, which it may excavate itself or it may utilize abandoned Ctenomys burrows. It has been recorded from areas with some habitat disturbance caused by low-density traditional grazing. In Bolivia they often inhabit salt flat habitats in sandy Puna habitat. In both countries they occupy areas of high elevation, 3,700 to 4,000 m. They have been observed foraging on grasses, sedges, aquatic plants in the Apiaceae family, herbaceous vegetation in the family Asteraceae, and Peruvian feather grass (Dunnum 2015, Lacher 2016).
Generation Length (years):2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There do not appear to be any major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in several protected areas, such as Sahama National Park in Bolivia. No immediate conservation measures are needed for this species.

Citation: Bernal, N. & Dunnum, J. 2016. Microcavia niata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T13320A22189752. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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