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Kinosternon hirtipes

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA TESTUDINES KINOSTERNIDAE

Scientific Name: Kinosternon hirtipes
Species Authority: (Wagler, 1833)
Common Name(s):
English Rough-footed Mud Turtle
Synonym(s):
Cinosternon hirtipes Wagler, 1833
Kinosternon murrayi Glass & Hartweg, 1951
Taxonomic Notes: Includes the subspecies K. h. hirtipes (Wagler, 1833), K. h. chapalaense Iverson, 1981, K. h. magdalense Iverson, 1981, K. h. megacephalum Iverson, 1981, K. h. murrayi Glass & Hartweg, 1951, and K. h. tarascense Iverson, 1981. Taxon megacephalum may warrant species status, fide Joseph-Ouni 2003.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P., Hammerson, G., Vazquez Diaz, J., Quintero Diaz, G.E., Santos, G. & Flores-Villela, O.
Reviewer(s): Iverson, J.B. & Rhodin , A.G.J. (Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Red List Authority)
Justification:
The species Kinosternon hirtipes overall 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.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northern and central Mexico, from northern Chihuahua through the Sierra Madre Occidental to the valley of Mexico, Mexico, as well as the Big Bend region of Texas, USA (Iverson 1992).
K. h. hirtipes: Valley of Mexico.
K. h. chapalaense: Lago de Chapala and Laguna de Zapotlan basins of Jalisco and Michoacan, Mexico.
K. h. magdalense: Magdalena valley of Michoacan, Mexico.
K. h. megacephalum: Extinct from the endorrheic basin near Viesca, in southwestern Coahuila, Mexico.
K. h. murrayi: Chihuahua, Mexico, and adjacent Big Bend region of Texas, through the Sierra Madre Occidental to Mexico State.
K. h. tarascense: Lago de Patzcuaro basin, Michoacan, Mexico.

The subpopulation in San Luis Potosi, Mexico is introduced.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Limited data available; observations and collections of substantial series of murrayi in Mexico suggests a locally common subspecies.

Subspecies megacephalum is Extinct.

Subspecies hirtipes has not been recorded from the Valley of Mexico in years (Iverson in litt. 28 Jan 2007).

Subspecies magdalense and tarascense are rare where they occur.

Subspecies chapalaense is apparently doing fine and is not consumed or collected.

Texas populations are highly localised and common where they occur, yet the Texas population is rated Critically Imperiled (Clausen and Hammerson 1997). Uncommon (maybe threatened) in the southern portion of the species' range (separate subspecies) but more common in the northern part.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, marshes and other permanent water bodies in mesquite grasslands in upland areas between 800 and 2,600 m (Iverson 1985 in Ernst et al. 1994).

Animals are almost exclusively carnivorous, feeding on snails, aquatic insects, crustaceans, worms, fish and frogs (Iverson in Ernst et al. 1994).

Sexual dimorphism varies geographically, males may average 95 mm to 152 mm in different populations, while females average from 82 mm to 140 mm; these average sizes are correlated only weakly between males and females (Iverson 1985). In Chihuahua, females mature at 6 to 8 years of age, at or above 9.7 cm CL and produce multiple clutches (probably up to 4) during the May-September nesting period. Clutches comprise of 1 to 6 eggs. (Moll and Legler 1971, Iverson et al. 1991).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some populations, particularly those near metropolitan areas (ssp. hirtipes, maybe chapalaense, tarascense, and magdalense as well), are under severe pressure from water extraction and other hydrological alterations impacting clean water supplies, and from pollution of remaining waterbodies. Loss of habitat to irrigated agriculture is an ongoing threat. Permanent water bodies in the southern portion of the range have been drying up in recent years. In all of the range pollution has had a detrimental effect on the population as well as the drying of wetlands and human settlements encroaching on the water bodies.

Incidental mortality from shooting and other destruction as a perceived pest. (Clausen and Hammerson 1997).

The typical subspecies K. h. hirtipes has apparently disappeared from the Valley of Mexico, which may or may not be correlated with the introduction of K. integrum there which has become very common there; interactions between the two species are not understood (Iverson in litt 28 Jan 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Turtles in general are protected from exploitation under Mexican wildlife and natural resource legislation; implementation is uneven.

K. hirtipes occurs in at least in one Mexican protected area: Sierra de Santa Rosa state protected area. Subspecies murrayi probably occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range.

Population assessments, basic natural history studies, and confirmation of the occurrence of secure populations of the various subspecies in protected areas in Mexico would be desirable.

Citation: van Dijk, P.P., Hammerson, G., Vazquez Diaz, J., Quintero Diaz, G.E., Santos, G. & Flores-Villela, O. 2007. Kinosternon hirtipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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