Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Cynomys mexicanus
Species Authority: Merriam, 1892
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Prairie Dog, Mexican Prairie Marmot
French Chien De Prairie Du Mexique
Spanish Perrito De Las Praderas, Perrito Llanero Mexicano

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I., Lacher, T. & Vázquez, E.
Reviewer(s): McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Endangered given that its extent of occurrence is less than 600 km2, its distribution is highly fragmented, and there is continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, extent and quality of its habitat, and number of locations and subpopulations.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cynomys mexicanus is endemic to north-central Mexico. It is found in the states of Coahuila and San Luis Potosi; it once also occurred in the states of Nuevo Leon and Zacatecas.
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is very rare.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Prairie dogs generally occupy open grasslands in plains and plateaus. They are diurnal animals using elaborate burrow systems for shelter and protection against predators. They show a high degree of social organisation and form large colonies (towns) which often cover an area of 100 ha or more.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Mexican prairie dog is losing habitat to the expansion of agriculture and livestock farming. Many colonies have been exterminated through poisoning.

This species has lost at least 65% of its habitat, which has been converted for agriculture and other uses. It is considered extinct in Zapatecas, which represented 10% of its original range. San Luis de Potosi, representing 25% of its original range, has also been heavily converted to agriculture, and the extraction of water has dried up soils and grasslands.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: C. mexicanus is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Citation: Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I., Lacher, T. & Vázquez, E. 2008. Cynomys mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T6089A12413949. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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