Reithrodontomys spectabilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Reithrodontomys spectabilis Jones & Lawlor, 1965
Common Name(s):
English Cozumel Harvest Mouse

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-04-24
Assessor(s): Vázquez, E., de Grammont, P.C. & Cuarón, A.D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Roach, N.
Cozumel Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys spectabilis) is assessed as Critically Endangered because this species is known only from Cozumel Island, Mexico where it is estimated to exist in small subpopulations (< 50 individuals/subpopulation) with an estimate of less than 200 individuals in the entire population. The species has not recovered from negative impacts from introduced species (Boa constrictor, cats, dogs, and rats), nor the 2005 hurricanes. The population is highly differentiated genetically, and exists in four small subpopulations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to Cozumel Island, México (Musser and Carleton 2005). There are few sites on the island where the species has been recorded, some sites are widely separated and populations are genetically differentiated (Vázquez-Domínguez and Cuarón pers. comm).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Yucatán)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is very rare and patchily distributed. The population fluctuates significantly (A. Cuaron pers. comm). Population has also decreased since 1990s and is now rare (Reid 2009). In a study to assess genetic diversity in the species, a total of 90 individuals were trapped from September 2001 to January 2005; these individuals were determined to have varying genetic structure and there are possibly four subpopulations within across the Island (Espindola et al. 2014).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:152Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:4
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This mouse occurs in dense, viney second growth and forest edge. This nocturnal and semi-arboreal species is negatively affected by edge-effects caused by openings in vegetation, even by very narrow (< 3 m) linear openings (Fuentes-Montemayor et al. 2009). It gives two-note whistling calls at dusk (Reid 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by predation from introduced species: feral dogs, cats and Boa constrictor. It is also threatened by competition from introduced house rats and mice. Human development and deforestation are also threats (Reid 2009).

The species is also vulnerable to the effects of frequent hurricanes and flooding, particularly in combination with its extremely small, fluctuating population and interactions with invasive species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There has been significant progress in terms of habitat protection on Cozumel Island, with the creation of Reserva Estatal Selvas y Humedales de Cozumel (19,846.45 ha; 2011) and Area de Protección de Flora y Fauna Isla de Cozumel (37,829 ha; 2012). In addition, the entire Cozumel Island has been recognized by UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Program as Cozumel Island Biosphere Reserve (134,624 ha total area; 46,886 ha of land area and 87,738 ha of seas; 2016). Nevertheless, despite this, the main conservation problem for R. spectabilis remains with introduced species (Cuarón pers. comm).

There is a program to control the populations of invasive dogs and cats. A program is still needed to control the invasive snakes and rodents.

Citation: Vázquez, E., de Grammont, P.C. & Cuarón, A.D. 2018. Reithrodontomys spectabilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T19416A22386261. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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