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Sylvilagus graysoni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Sylvilagus graysoni
Species Authority: (J.A. Allen, 1877)
Common Name(s):
English Tres Marias Cottontail, Tres Marias Rabbit
Spanish Conejo De Las Isles Marías
Taxonomic Notes: There are two recognized subspecies: Sylvilagus graysoni graysoni and S. g. badistes (Cervantes 1997). S. graysoni is closely related to the adjacent mainland species S. cunicularius (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mexican Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA), Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Sylvilagus graysoni occurs on four island with a total land area of less than 500 km² (Cervantes 1997). S. graysoni populations have declined historically and the only population described as abundant is on the smallest island of San Juanito, which makes up approximately 12% of the total extent of occurrence (Cervantes 1997).
History:
1996 Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distribution of Sylvilagus graysoni is limited to the four Tres Marias Islands in Nayarit, Mexico (Cervantes 1997). The subspecies S. g. graysoni is native to Maria Madre, Maria Magdalena, and Maria Cleofas Islands, and S. g. badistes occurs on San Juanito Island (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). The total extent of occurrence is less than 500 km². S. graysoni has been recorded from sea level to an elevation of 350 m (Cervantes 1997).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Nayarit)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The populations of Sylvilagus graysoni are declining (Cervantes 1997). In 1897, S. graysoni was reported to be abundant on the islands (Ramirez-Silva 2005), but an expedition to the islands in 1987 did not find any rabbits or evidence of activity on Maria Madre, Maria Magdalena, or Maria Cleofas, but some were observed on San Juanito Island (Cervantes 1997).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Tres Marias Islands where Sylvilagus graysoni occurs are more arid than the mainland (<630 mm annual precipitation), and the resulting habitat is tropical dry deciduous and moist forest (Chapman and Ceballos 1990; Cervantes 1997).

Total length is 48.0 cm (Cervantes et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Sylvilagus graysoni had few historical predators, and does not exhibit much fear of humans, which leaves it vulnerable to hunting (Cervantes 1997).

Introduced agricultural, and game species, such as Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer), pigs, and domestic goats exist on Maria Magdalena Island, and Rattus rattus (house rat) was introduced to all islands, which have caused strong ecological impacts and compete for resources (Chapman and Ceballos 1990; Cervantes 1997).

A federal prison located on Maria Madre Island has led to increased human settlement and development of the land, which has caused habitat disturbance that presents a threat to S. graysoni (Cervantes 1997).

Habitat destruction has probably been the main cause of decline in S. graysoni. Populations used to be more abundant on the uninhabited islands of Maria Cleofas and San Juanito, but Maria Cleofas has been stripped of about half of its native vegetation in preparation for settlement (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Sylvilagus graysoni is listed as critically endangered in the Mexican Official Norm NOM-059-ECOL-2001.

The establishment of reserves on Maria Madre Island, converting San Juanito Island completely into an ecological reserve, ceasing hunting practices, and initiating surveys and research of the species to determine biology and population status is recommended for S. graysoni (Chapman and Ceballos 1990; Cervantes 1997).

The island of Maria Magdalena has been designated an ecological reserve by the Mexican government (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

Citation: Mexican Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA), Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H. 2008. Sylvilagus graysoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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