Rheomys mexicanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Rheomys mexicanus Goodwin, 1959
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Water Mouse

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-01-15
Assessor(s): Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T. & Lacher, T.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
This species is assessed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is around 4,267 km², its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Oaxaca, México (Musser and Carleton 2005, Ceballos 2014). It is only known from Guelatao, San Jose Lachiquiri, Union Hildalgo and Tontatepec on the Pacific slope of Oaxaca (Santos-Moreno et al. 2003, Ceballos 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Oaxaca)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is considered rare, and has only been recorded from four localities within its range (Santos-Moreno et al. 2003, Ceballos 2014). The species distribution is likely severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is poorly known. It is a semi-aquatic species relying on the freshwater environment as a food source (Nowak 1999). It mainly inhabits cloud forests, coniferous forests, and oak forests, as well as tropical deciduous forests from sea level to approximately 2,200 m elevation (Ceballos 2014). It is restricted to forested riparian areas at the headwaters of streams, in particular it is restricted to small tributaries with closed tropical forest vegetation, and does not occur in larger rivers. This species requires a pristine habitat, any kind of pollution in water resources is a threat to this species. This mouse has highly specialized, underground habits. It is found exclusively in the margins of permanent rivers and streams, with a continuous, clear flow of water. It is nocturnal and carnivorous, and apparently hunts in the water. It mostly feeds on aquatic insects (Ceballos 2014). 

An adult male was found clogging a hosepipe used to collect water from the Rio Yavesia at 2,000 m in an area characterized by pine-oak forest (Santos-Moreno et al. 2003).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by human activities within its range, specifically by continued deforestation and water pollution (Ceballos 2014). Any type of water pollution, including household pollution from washing clothes, is considered a threat to this species. Deforestation is occurring throughout the range of this species, except in steep riparian areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research is needed to determine the status of this species population and its specialized habitat.

Citation: Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T. & Lacher, T. 2018. Rheomys mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T19484A22354600. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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