Microtus bavaricus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Microtus bavaricus (König, 1962)
Common Name(s):
English Bavarian Pine Vole, Bavarian Vole
French Campagnol Souterrain De Bavarie, CAMPAGNOL SOUTERRAIN DE BAVARIE
Pitymys bavaricus Konig 1962
Taxonomic Notes: Microtus bavaricus is part of Microtus multiplex species-complex. Its formerly continuous range in the Alps was split into three parts during the last glaciation which led to the evolution of three species: Microtus liechtensteini (south of the Alps east of the river Adige and Balkan mountains), Microtus multiplex (south of the Alps west of the river Adige), and M. bavaricus (north of the Alps in a small refuge in Bavaria and Northern Tyrol) (Haring et al. 2000, Spitzenberger et al. 2000, Spitzenberger 2002, Musser and Carleton 2005, Martinkova et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Spitzenberger, F., Zima, J., Meinig, H. & Vohralík, V.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is restricted to one location, which is severely fragmented and under threat from habitat loss. There are confirmed extinctions of populations in Germany, and good certainty that the species is restricted to the one known location. There remains some doubt about the validity of this population as a distinct species, but current research indicates that it is valid.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Microtus bavaricus is endemic to the Northeastern Alps. Previously it was known from only one location in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany. The last record of the species at this site was in 1962. A population discovered in Northern Tyrol, Austria in 1976/1977 was much later (2000) assigned to Microtus bavaricus based on genetic and karyological analysis (Haring et al. 2000, Spitzenberger et al. 2000). This population was confirmed to exist there still in 2004. Genetic and karyological analyses of both captured individuals and museum specimens have confirmed that the Austrian population belongs to Microtus bavaricus (Haring et al. 2000, Spitzenberger et al. 2000, Martínkova et al. 2007). Intensive surveys in Germany have failed to find the species, and both of the former known sites have been lost (one as a result of urbanization, the other due to deforestation and the replacement of natural vegetation with fertilized pasture)(H. Meinig pers. comm. 2006). The species is now known only from Rofan Mountain, Northern Tyrol, Austria where it occurs in altitudes between 730 and 1,100 metres a.s.l. Given the extensive surveys that have been carried out, the species is unlikely to be found elsewhere (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:<10
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Fewer than 50 individuals have been collected (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The original site was in an area of Alpine meadows. However, the species was rediscovered in an open mixed forest dominated by spruce with abundant brooks (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat at the type locality was lost following the construction of a hospital. The forests in which M. bavaricus lives in Northern Tyrol were used probably since medieval times as cattle pasture. This practice stopped in 2005, when in parts of the valleys the forest was replaced by fertilized and fenced cattle pastures. Through this M. bavaricus lost large parts of its known habitat. Habitat loss is expected to go on, as the open forests will become denser through lack of cattle browsing and intensification of forestry practices (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The single site at which the species is known to occur is not protected, although the species has been legally protected under the local Tyrolean provincial law since 2006. There is no current national or EU legislation, but the species is strictly protected under Appendix II of the Bern Convention. There are currently no management plans in place (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006). Recommended conservation actions include the following: conduct surveys to determine the size and distribution of the rediscovered population; continue searching similar sites in the German and Austrian Alps to look for other populations; protect habitat at the rediscovery site.

Citation: Spitzenberger, F., Zima, J., Meinig, H. & Vohralík, V. 2008. Microtus bavaricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T13461A3985949. . Downloaded on 23 September 2017.
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