Ctenomys opimus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Ctenomyidae

Scientific Name: Ctenomys opimus
Species Authority: Wagner, 1848
Common Name(s):
English Highland Tuco-tuco
Taxonomic Notes: The limits of this species need to be reexamined, especially with respect to the species C. fulvus; it may be a species complex (B. Patterson pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Dunnum, J., Vargas, J., Bernal, N., Zeballos, N., Vivar, E. & Patterson, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in northwest Argentina, southwestern Bolivia, southern Peru, northern Chile, between 2,500 and 5,000 m asl on the Andean steppe.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Chile; Peru
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 5000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a locally common species with patchy distribution. It is abundant where vegetation is sparse and the soil is loose. In southern Peru it can occur at densities of one to 17 individuals per acre (Pearson, 1959). Gestation length is 120 days and the average young per litter is 1.6 (Pearson, 1959).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in high-Andean puna vegetation. It can be found in both primary and secondary habitat. It is crepuscular and diurnal. This rodent is found on sandy and gravely soils, usually on slopes. Burrow systems usually consist of a single main tunnel from which short lateral branches diverge every few meters and include one or more chambers with stored vegetation and other chambers with nests. Only one animal lives in each burrow system. The burrows are expanded as vegetation is eaten and C. opimus reveals its presence by stripping large areas of natural vegetation. It eats roots, stems, or leaves of most of the available plants. The species digs a tunnel to the food source, then forages no more than two to thee body lengths outside its burrows, bringing the food back to the hole to eat (Eisenberg and Redford, 1999; Mares et al., 1981; Pearson, 1951, 1959; Pine et al. 1979; Tamayo and Frassinetti, 1980).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It may be present in a number of protected areas. Further general research is needed into this species.

Citation: Dunnum, J., Vargas, J., Bernal, N., Zeballos, N., Vivar, E. & Patterson, B. 2008. Ctenomys opimus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T5818A11732369. . Downloaded on 27 May 2016.
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