Orthogeomys heterodus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Geomyidae

Scientific Name: Orthogeomys heterodus (Peters, 1865)
Common Name(s):
English Variable Pocket Gopher
Taxonomic Source(s): Spradling, T.A., Demastes, J.W., Hafner, D.J., Milbach, P.L., Cervantes, F.A. and Hafner, MS. 2016. Systematic revision of the pocket gopher genus Orthogeomys. Journal of Mammalogy.
Taxonomic Notes: Morphological and molecular analyses by Spradling et al. (2016) resulted in resurrection of the genus Heterogeomys, to which the species heterodus is now assigned (as Heterogeomys heterodus). Three subspecies are currently recognized: H. h. dolichocephalus, H. h. cartagoensis, and H. h. heterodus (Hafner 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-18
Assessor(s): Emmons, L.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Hafner, M. & Reid, F.
Although its extent of occurrence is probably less than 5,000 km2, this species is listed as Least Concern in view of its tolerance of habitat modification, presumed stable population, and because it does not appear to be under threat and is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the central highlands of Costa Rica (Alajuela, San Jose, and Cartago Provinces).  Its elevational range is from approximately 1,000 m to 2,500 m (Spradling et al. 2016).
Countries occurrence:
Costa Rica
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is locally common (Reid 1997)
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found in agricultural areas, roadsides, and clearings (Reid 1997).

It may be active by day or night but is most active in the morning. This is the only species in the genus for which the burrow structure is known, through radio tracking studies and tunnel excavations. Each burrow contains a central nest with adjacent food storage areas and excrement chambers. Straight tunnels radiate from the nest area like spokes of a wheel and lead to foraging areas. Several foraging areas are in active use at the same time; each area is honeycombed with shallow feeding tunnels and marked by the characteristic above-ground mounds. Individuals are solitary, each with a non-overlapping home range of about 240 m2 (Sisk and Vaughan 1984, in Reid 1997). A lactating female was noted in March (Reid 1997).
Generation Length (years):2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. Members of this genus, however, are often considered agricultural pests and farmers' attempts to eradicate them include trapping and poisoning. Additionally, agricultural herbicides and pesticides may adversely affect the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not clear whether or not this species occurs within protected areas, although such occurrence is not considered essential to secure it because of its ability to thrive in agricultural lands.

Citation: Emmons, L. 2016. Orthogeomys heterodus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15548A22215071. . Downloaded on 23 June 2018.
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