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Pronolagus rupestris

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Pronolagus rupestris
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1834)
Common Name(s):
English Smith's Red Rock Hare, Smith's Red Rockhare
Taxonomic Notes: According to Hoffmann and Smith (2005), there are four recognized subspecies: Pronolagus rupestris curryi, P. r. nyikae, P. r. saundersiae, and P. r. vallicola. P. saundersiae has recently been distinguished as a good species. There has been some contention as to the number of possible subspecies of P. rupestris; however, until the biological and exact taxonomic status of these clades is more clear, the treatment of Meester et al. (1986) is provisionally upheld. Although the species occurs in both southern Africa and east Africa, it is unlikely that there is any gene flow between the two populations.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F.
Reviewer(s): Johnston, C.H. and Smith, A.T. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Pronolagus rupestris is a widespread species. Population size in South Africa is greater than 10,000 mature individuals and this species is common within portions of its distribution in South Africa (Matthee et al. 2004).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pronolagus rupestris occurs in South Africa (Free State, North-West, and Northern Cape provinces), and Lesotho, and in a separate population in south-western Kenya, central Tanzania, eastern Zambia, and Malawi (Duthie and Robinson 1990; Boitani et al. 1999; Matthee et al. 2004). It is no longer thought to occur in Namibia as indicated by other treatments (Bronner et al. 2003).

The extent of occurrence is greater than 20,000 km², and the area of occupancy is greater than 2,000 km² (Matthee et al. 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Kenya; Malawi; South Africa (Free State, Northern Cape Province, North-West Province); Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is characterized as abundant in the Springbok and Kuruman areas of its distribution (Matthee et al. 2004). It has a population size of greater than 10,000 in South Africa (Matthee et al. 2004). In South Africa, population decline of greater than 10% is predicted to occur by the year 2022 (Matthee et al. 2004). There is no data regarding the status of the east African distribution.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pronolagus rupestris occurs on rocky slopes and the tops of rocky outcrops of mountains and hills, where grass or scrub vegetation occurs (Duthie and Robinson 1990; Matthee et al. 2004). Areas of unsuitable habitat cause some natural habitat fragmentation (Duthie and Robinson 1990).

The diet of P. rupestris consists of sprouting grasses (Duthie and Robinson 1990). Litter size is 1-2 young (Duthie and Robinson 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting of Pronolagus rupestris poses a threat to the species (Matthee et al. 2004). Habitat loss due to building houses on rocky outcrops also occurs, but this is not currently considered a serious threat (Matthee et al. 2004). There has been a greater than 20% loss of habitat since the 1900's and future loss is predicted to continue at the same rate until the year 2022 (Matthee et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In South Africa, Pronolagus rupestris occurs in national and provincial parks and wildlife refuges, and is seasonally protected by Provincial Nature Conservation agencies as a game species (Duthie and Robinson 1990). Sustainable utilization is recommended, as well as research in the areas of status surveys and life history (Matthee et al. 2004). Few data exist for the east African distribution and research should be conducted in the areas of threats, population and habitat status. Taxonomic revision is also suggested for this species.

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. 2008. Pronolagus rupestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 November 2014.
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