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Synaptomys cooperi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Synaptomys cooperi
Species Authority: Baird, 1858
Common Name(s):
English Kansas Bog Lemming, Southern Bog Lemming
Taxonomic Notes: Wilson and Choate (1997) examined morphological variation in populations in Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota and found that variation was largely clinal, with only minor steps in clinal variation in cranial morphology. Because of small sample sizes, they recommended retention of currently recognized subspecies until genetic data are available.

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 (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, there are no major threats at present, and its populations are not declining fast enough to qualifying for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from southern Quebec west to southern Manitoba in Canada, south to Kansas, northern Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland in the United States.
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec); United States (Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It generally occurs in low densities in most parts of the range, with some locally higher densities recorded in prairie areas. It is said to be colonial, but probably is just locally distributed in suitable habitat patches. Published densities range from 1.6/ha in New Jersey to 106/ha in Illinois. However, temporary local concentrations cannot be used as estimates of area-wide densities.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, mixed deciduous/coniferous forests, spruce-fir forests, and freshwater wetlands. Competes for living space with Microtus, which is a superior competitor and excludes Synaptomys from higher quality habitats.

Prefers boggy habitat but it is also common in marshes, meadows, and upland forests with thick humus layer (especially when conditions are not hot and dry); areas with intermixture of herbaceous/shrubby vegetation. Occupies burrow systems usually 6-12 inches deep and surface runways (e.g., beneath sphagnum and among roots of shrubs).

Young are born in nests placed on the surface in grassy vegetation or in underground burrows. In New Jersey, nests were just under the surface in tops of sphagnum hummocks (Conner 1959). Breeds year-round; peak April-September. Gestation lasts 21-23 days. Litter size is 1-8 (average 2-5); multiple litters annually in the south. Sexually mature in 60 days, or less for males.

Home range varies from 1/4 to one acre. Sometimes occurs in small colonies. Diet consists primarily of herbaceous plants; leaves, stems, seeds, and rootstocks, especially of grasses and sedges; also eats small fruits (Connor 1959). Active day and night throughout the year.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species throughout its range.

Human habitat changes (deforestation, elimination of native grasslands, roadways that provide dispersal routes to habitat patches, etc.) that encourage increases in numbers or local distribution of Microtus would be detrimental to Synaptomys cooperi.

In Kansas, this species moved out of or avoided areas subject to experimental prairie fire (Clark and Kaufman 1990). In southeastern Kentucky, it apparently is being displaced via competitive exclusion by expanding meadow vole populations (Krupa and Haskins 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Its range includes several protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Synaptomys cooperi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 November 2014.
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