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Microtus mexicanus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Microtus mexicanus
Species Authority: (Saussure, 1861)
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Vole
Synonym(s):
Microtus mogollonensis (Mearns, 1890)
Taxonomic Notes: Some authors split it in two species: M. mexicanus and M. mogollonensis (see Musser and Carleton 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T. & Reid, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a patchy distribution in mountains from the extreme south of Utah and Colorado, through central Arizona and New Mexico, USA, and throughout the interior of north and central México in the Sierra Madre mountains, as far south as central Oaxaca (Musser and Carleton 2005; Ceballos and Oliva 2005). It ranges in elevation from 1,200 to 4,115 m asl (Ceballos and Oliva 2005; Reid 2006).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The overall population trend is unknown, but many populations are isolated and some are declining.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This rodent is associated with coniferous forest, occurring in “islands” of mountain-top forest habitat surrounded by a "sea" of inhospitable lower-elevation desert. Some of these mountain-top populations have been isolated from other populations since the end of the last ice age (about 20,000 years ago).

The species uses grass for food and cover; it can eat the green vegetable portion (leaves and stems). It is well adapted for dry conditions. It occurs in some of the driest habitats of any species of vole. This rodent has one of the lowest reproductive potentials of any North American vole (although pregnant females may have up to six embryos), averaging only about 2.4 embryos. This small number is not surprising in light of the fact that M. mexicanus has only two pairs of mammary glands rather than four pairs as found in most other voles. Limited data suggest that most reproduction occurs during the warmer, wetter months and that unlike many other species of Microtus, reproduction may cease during the winter (Wilson and Ruff 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species, but many of the populations are isolated and declining.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas.

Citation: Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T. & Reid, F. 2008. Microtus mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 August 2014.
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