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Phenacomys intermedius

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Phenacomys intermedius
Species Authority: Merriam, 1889
Common Name(s):
English Western Heather Vole
Taxonomic Notes: There is uncertainty about the taxonomic status of Phenacomys ungava. In recent decades, most authors have regarded ungava as a subspecies of P. intermedius. Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005) noted the present validity of earlier statements that the relationship between intermedius and ungava needs further detailed study; nevertheless, they listed P. ungava as a separate species. Jones et al. (1997), Baker et al. (2003), and George (in Wilson and Ruff 1999) also recognized ungava as a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Reichel, J.D. & Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, its populations are stable, there are no major threats, and it occurs in protected areas throughout its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the western United States and Canada, but with a highly fragmented distribution (at least seven separate population units). One lies completely within British Columbia, a second extends from southwest British Columbia into central Oregon, a third lies completely in western Washington, a fourth extends from central British Columbia to central Oregon and Idaho, a fifth lies within central California, a sixth occurs along the Nevada-Utah border, and a seventh occurs in eastern Utah and western Colorado and extends slightly into Arizona and New Mexico. It generally occurs above 750 m asl in the western United States and to above 3,000 m asl in the Rockies and California.
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Newfoundland I, Saskatchewan); United States (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species has a wide distribution in western North America, there are at least hundreds of known locations where it occurs. Density estimates range from 0.5 to 10 per ha in different habitats in different areas. Irregular population fluctuations are typical.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs from sea level to above the treeline; open coniferous forest with heath, shrub understorey; shrub areas on forest edge; mossy meadows in forests; alpine tundra with cover. It nests on the ground under snow (winter) or in burrows (summer). It is solitary in summer except during the breeding season. Family groups may occupy communal nests in winter.

Gestation lasts 19-24 days. Young are born mid-June to early September, though the season possibly is more restricted at high elevations. Litter size averages 3-4 for young-of-year, 4-6 for older females (which may produce two litters per year) (McAllister and Hoffman 1988).

In winter, these voles feed on bark and buds of shrubs and heaths. In summer, they feed primarily on green vegetation, berries, and seeds. Stores food winter and summer. They are active throughout the year.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are many protected occurrences of this species and no known large-scale threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected in Wilderness Areas and National Parks and Provincial Parks of British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Utah, and elsewhere.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Reichel, J.D. & Hammerson, G.) 2008. Phenacomys intermedius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 August 2014.
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