Dromiciops gliroides 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Microbiotheria Microbiotheriidae

Scientific Name: Dromiciops gliroides
Species Authority: Thomas, 1894
Common Name(s):
English Monito del Monte
Spanish Comadrejita Enana, Llacas
French Opossum Austral
Dromiciops australis F. Philippi, 1893
Taxonomic Notes: The genus Dromiciops includes only one living species, D. gliroides (Marshall 1978). Dromiciops is considered a living fossil form because it is the sole representative of an extinct lineage, the microbiotheres. It belongs to a monotypic Order (Microbiotheria), which is most closely related to Australian marsupials than to any living South American species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-06-17
Assessor(s): Martin, G.M., Flores, D. & Teta, P.
Reviewer(s): Costa, L.P.
Contributor(s): Diaz, M.

This species is restricted to a habitat type which is being exploited and should be monitored. It is assessed as Near Threatened, and almost qualifies for a threatened category under criterion A2c due to ongoing population decline inferred from habitat conversion to agriculture, and from logging activities, which have led to a decline in the order of 20% over 10 years. Further information is needed on area of occupancy and effects of the numerous threats on populations of this species, as it may be more threatened than currently suspected.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is only found in southern Chile south of Concepción and on the island of Chiloe, and adjacent Argentina from Neuquén to Chubut Provinces (Martin 2010).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its population is estimated to have declined over recent years. Currently, D. gliroides has been catalogued as a rare species in Chile, due to its reduced population size. Furthermore, the high degree of fragmentation in the Maulino forest, allows to suppose that the local population of Dromiciops, as well as that of the Reserva Los Ruiles and Los Queules, could be in danger of extinction (Martin 2010). Throughout the rest of its occurrence area this species seems to be tolerant of fragmentation, but might be decreasing in population size due to isolation (Rodriguez-Cabal et al. 2007, Martin 2010).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Dromiciops gliroides lives in the temperate-cold Subantarctic forests of southern Chile and Argentina, where it inhabits thickets of Chilean Bamboo (Chusquea sp.) and other native forest species (Mann 1955, Hershkovitz 1999, Rodriguez-Cabal et al. 2007, Martin 2010). This nocturnal, highly arboreal mammal constructs spherical nests of water-repellant bamboo leaves lined with moss or grass (Mann 1955). Nests probably serve to protect the animals from the cold, but when temperatures drop during the winter and food becomes scarce, Dromiciops gliroides will hibernate (Bozinovic et al. 2004). It feeds on several fruits of native plants, larvae and insect pupae (Mann 1955, Rodriguez-Cabal et al. 2007, Martin 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by a loss of its restricted habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas. More research is necessary to determine the impact of the numerous possible threats to subpopulations - especially logging and agriculture.

Citation: Martin, G.M., Flores, D. & Teta, P. 2015. Dromiciops gliroides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T6834A22180239. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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