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Poelagus marjorita

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Poelagus marjorita
Species Authority: (St. Leger, 1929)
Common Name(s):
English Bunyoro Rabbit
Taxonomic Notes: There are no recognized subspecies of Poelagus marjorita (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Collins, K. & Smith, A.T.
Reviewer(s): Boyer, A.F. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Though little data are available regarding population densities and distribution (Duthie and Robinson 1990), Poelagus marjorita appears to be a widespread species that does not appear to be in decline, and is present in several protected areas. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Specimen records included in a 1974 report (Kingdon 1974) indicate that Poelagus marjorita occurs in two separate areas of central Africa. This report and a later review (Duthie and Robinson 1990) concluded that the northern extent of the larger range stretches from southeastern Chad through southern Sudan to northwestern Kenya, through most of Uganda (excluding the extreme southeast), western Rwanda and Burundi, northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, former Zaire), all of Central African Republic (Duthie and Robinson 1990; Kingdon 1974). The second area is predominantly in northwestern Angola and southwestern DRC (Kingdon 1974; Duthie and Robinson 1990; Boitani et al. 1999).

A new survey of specimen distribution (Happold and Wendelen 2006) proposes that the distribution of P. marjorita is actually smaller than previous accounts have reported. Based on specimen records, there is no indication that P. marjorita exists in Angola, southern DRC, northwestern Kenya, Rwanda, Chad, or Burundi. The accounts are restricted to Uganda, southern Sudan, northeastern DRC, and eastern (and possibly central) Central African Republic (Happold and Wendelen 2006).
Countries:
Native:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; South Sudan; Uganda
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Poelagus marjorita is widespread and common within some parts of its range, including northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan, though little is known about abundance in other areas (Duthie and Robinson 1990).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Poelagus marjorita exists primarily in moist savanna grassland, woodlands with rocky outcrops, and less prominently in forested areas (Duthie and Robinson 1990). They often dwell in rock crevices, and are associated in some areas with hyrax habitat (Kingdon 1974). It is a nocturnal feeder, foraging on flowers, newly sprouted grasses, and "much attracted to heavily grazed, newly mowed or burnt areas where the grass is short" (Duthie and Robinson 1990). The primary habitat of grassland is periodically burnt and grazed, which provides for a more frequent supply of sprouted plants (Kingdon 1974).

Breeding probably occurs throughout the year (Duthie and Robinson 1990). Gestation is around 5 weeks (Kingdon 1974) with litters of one or two altricial young (Duthie and Robinson 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known about the threats to Poelagus marjorita. Though the grassland habitat is annually or biannually burnt leaving the rabbit vulnerable to predators, this pattern actually promotes vegetation growth included in P. marjorita’s diet (Kingdon 1974).

P. marjorita is hunted locally and some of its habitat is utilized for cultivation of peanuts and rice, but little is known of the effects of these threats (Duthie and Robinson 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Poelagus marjorita is found in protected areas within its range, including the Garamba National Park in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda (Duthie and Robinson 1990).

It is possible that no form of additional protection may be required (Duthie and Robinson 1990), but more research regarding population size, ecology, and the effects of threats should be conducted.

Citation: Collins, K. & Smith, A.T. 2008. Poelagus marjorita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 October 2014.
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