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Sylvilagus varynaensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Sylvilagus varynaensis
Species Authority: Durant & Guevara, 2001
Common Name(s):
English Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit, Barinas Wild Rabbit
Spanish Conejo De Barinas, Conejo De Monte
Taxonomic Notes: There are no recognized subspecies of Sylvilagus varynaensis (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Durant, P. & Guevara, M.A.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Sylvilagus varynaensis is a recently described species and relatively unknown with regards to population status, distribution, threats, and conservation status (Durant and Guevara 2001). More detailed research is necessary to determine the status of this species.
History:
2003 Not Evaluated (IUCN 2003)
2003 Not Evaluated

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sylvilagus varynaensis occurs in the lowlands of Venezuela in the states of Barinas, Portuguesa, and Guarico. It is only known from a few localities: “Fundo Millano” (18 km northeast of the town of Sabaneta), the type locality in Barinas, “Chorrosco Bajo” in Barinas (112 km east of type locality), “Hato Cantaclaro” (15 km north of the town of Santa Rosa), “Hacienda Las Mercedes” in Portuguesa (25 km west of the city of Guanare), “Finca Las Lajitas” in Guarico (5 km north-west of the town of San Rafael de Orituco) (Durant and Guevara 2001). It is suspected that the total distribution is more extensive than what is currently known.
Countries:
Native:
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Very little information exists about abundance and population status of Sylvilagus varynaensis. In the study that resulted in the description of the species conducted in 1989-1990, the researchers were able to obtain 45 adult rabbits (Durant and Guevara 2001), and another study in 1989 resulted in the observation of 273 individuals, and a capture of 53.5% of that amount (Durant and Guevara 2000a).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A study conducted in 1989 found that 74% of all captures and 80% of all sightings of this species were in conjunction with "Escobillal" vegetation type (Sida spp. and Malvastrum spp.), which was characterized as "low shrubby-herbaceous savanna composition" (Durant and Guevara 2000a). The study area was in close proximity to four tropical dry forests (Durant and Guevara 2000a).

Diet consists primarily of Sida spp. (Durant and Guevara 2000a). HB length is 43.4-44.5 cm, with females larger than males (Durant and Guevara 2000b). Litter size is 2.63 embryos per female, with gestation lasting 35 days (Durant and Guevara 2000b). September through December had the greatest reproductive activity for sampled females, but activity was recorded for 270 days of the year (Durant and Guevara 2000b).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known about the direct threats to Sylvilagus varynaensis, but some threats to other Sylvilagus species in the area are likely to apply to S. varynaensis as well. Anthropogenic factors, such as deforestation, conversion of land to agriculture, and hunting, present threats to rabbits in Venezuela, as well as predation by feral dogs and competition with domestic animals (Durant and Guevara 2000a).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research is necessary to determine the population status and effects of threats on Sylvilagus varynaensis, which has only been studied in detail regarding some aspects of reproductive physiology, morphology, and habitat relationship (Durant and Guevara 2000a; Durant and Guevara 2000b; Durant and Guevara 2001). It may be necessary to establish management plans and protected areas for the species.

Citation: Durant, P. & Guevara, M.A. 2008. Sylvilagus varynaensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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