Spermophilus atricapillus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Spermophilus atricapillus
Species Authority: W.E. Bryant, 1889
Common Name(s):
English Baja California Rock Squirrel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T.
Reviewer(s): McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its habitat is severely fragmented, and is experiencing population decline due to hunting.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in Baja California, Mexico (Alvarez-Castañeda et al. 1996).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Baja California)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No population information could be found. This species has a restricted and fragmented range with low population density. It occurs in isolated and fragmented populations.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is poorly known. It is found in desert shrubland and open mountain forests in areas of volcanic origin. Vegetation is dominated by Pachycereus pringlei (cardon), Machaerocereus gummosus (pitaya agria), Lemairocereus thurberi (pitaya dulce), Opuntia cholla (choya), Prosopis juliflora (mesquite), Lysiloma candida (palo blanco), Burcera ceraciflora (torote) and Jatropha cinerea (lomboy) (Alvarez-Castañeda et al. 1996).

This species is primarily found near water holes in the Gigantas Sierra and Sierra de San Francisco. It feeds on Datil plants. Because of this specific habitat preference, populations are very isolated and fragmented.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is hunted. It is sometimes considered a pest to crops (squash, Datil).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Part of this species range lies within a protected area.

Citation: Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T. 2008. Spermophilus atricapillus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T20480A9205705. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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