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Lepus flavigularis 

Scope:Global
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_onStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Leporidae

Scientific Name: Lepus flavigularis
Species Authority: Wagner, 1844
Common Name(s):
English Tehuantepec Jackrabbit, Tropical Hare, Tehuantepec Jack Rabbit, Tehuantepec Hare
Spanish Liebre De Tehuantepec, Liebre Tehuana
Taxonomic Notes: No subspecies are recognized (Hall 1981, Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2b+3c; B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,v); C1; D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Cervantes, F.A., Lorenzo, C., Farías, V. & Vargas, J.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
There has been a population reduction of greater than 50% where the causes are a decline in extent of occurrence and habitat quality; the causes of reduction have not ceased. Extent of occurrence is perhaps only 520 km² and area of occupancy is less than 100 km² (possibly only 67 km²). There are only four separated and small populations of Tehuantepec jackrabbit. Ongoing decline in the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, area and quality of habitat, and number of mature individuals of Tehuantepec jackrabbit threatens this species. Total population size is estimated as less than 1000 individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: According to Chapman et al. (1983) this species existed only from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca to the extreme west of the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Recently, Tehuantepec hares have not been found in Chiapas (Retana and Lorenzo 2002). The area occupied in the past was apparently 150 km², but increasing clearance for agriculture is destroying most of its habitat. The former distribution of the Tehuantepec jackrabbit is not documented in detail, but Nelson (1909) estimated the leporid's historic range along the Mexican Pacific Coast on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from Salina Cruz in Oaxaca to Tonalá in Chiapas, as an area of perhaps only 5,000 km². Four populations of Tehuantepec hare persist, and the extent of occurrence is perhaps only 520 km². This hare inhabits altitudes at no more than 500 m.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Mexico (Oaxaca)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 67
Upper elevation limit (metres): 500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population size is estimated as less than 1,000 individuals. The four populations are rare and all are isolated from each other.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: At present, this jackrabbit is restricted to grasslands with open shrub and tree cover, and coastal grassy dunes which never exceed a 4-5 km wide strip along the shores of salt water lagoons on the north side of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. It co-exists with the eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus and is crepuscular and nocturnal. Tropical dry savannas of native grasses with an over story of sparse bushes (Byrsonima crassifolia, Opuntia decumbens, Opuntia tehuantepecana), and scattered trees (Crescentia spp.) are the vegetation communities selected by Tehuantepec jackrabbits. Tehuantepec jackrabbits are also found in coastal grassy dunes with Sabal mexicana. Grasses in savannas and coastal dunes are dominated by Paspalum and Bouteloua. Annual home range and core area sizes averaged 55.5 ha (range 27.6-99.7 ha) and 8.5 ha (range 2.1-13.3 ha) for adult jackrabbits of both sexes (n=10) using the 95% and 50% fixed kernal isopleths, respectively. Similar home range size between sexes and home range overlap with more than one individual suggest that Tehuantepec hares have a polygamous mating system and a non-territorial social organization. The length of the breeding season may extend from February to December, with a peak in reproduction during the rainy season (from May to October). Mean litter size is two, with a range of one to four embryos (Farías pers. comm.). Data are from museum specimens of Tehuantepec jackrabbits at the Colección Nacional de Mamíferos from the Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México of females that were pregnant (Farías pers. comm.). The total length is 59.5 cm (Hall and Kelson 1959). This species reaches maturity at six to seven months for both sexes (Farías 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted locally for subsistence and very occasionally taken as a pet.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species' habitat is threatened by encroaching agriculture as the local human population expands. In addition, the species is shot by numerous parties of hunters coming from cities up to 200 km away to shoot deer by spotlighting at night. The extent of occurrence of Tehuantepec jackrabbits is jeopardized by habitat alteration and degradation by introduction of exotic grasses, human-induced fires, agriculture, cattle-raising activities, and human settlements in savannas. Predation was the major cause of mortality for radio-marked jackrabbits and accounted for 94% of juvenile deaths and 67% of adult deaths during a 29 month study. Human-induced fires in the savanna accounted for 20% of adult deaths. Poaching accounted for 13% of adult deaths, and for 6% of juvenile deaths. There is also low genetic variation. Habitat reduction has been estimated at 8-29% over the last 24 years (Cuáron and de Grammont pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Tehuantepec jackrabbit is listed as critically endangered in the Mexican Official Norm NOM-059-ECOL-2001. Conservation laws are not enforced by local authorities in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability: Suitable  
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.4. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
4. Education & awareness -> 4.2. Training
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.3. Sub-national level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level
6. Livelihood, economic & other incentives -> 6.1. Linked enterprises & livelihood alternatives

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.4. Storms & flooding
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Chapman, J. A., Dixon, K. R., Lopez-Forment, W. and Wilson, D. E. 1983. The New World jackrabbits and hares (genus Lepus). 1. Taxonomic history and population status. Acta Zoologica Fennica 174: 49-51.

Cuaron, A. D. and de Grammont, P. C. 2008. Habitat change in Mexico.

Farias, V. 2004. Spatio-temporal ecology and habitat selection of the critically endangered tropical hare (Lepus flavigularis) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts.

Hall, E.R. 1981. The Mammals of North America. John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA.

Hall, E.R. and Kelson, K.R. 1959. The Mammals of North America. Ronald Press, New York, USA.

Hoffmann, R. S. and Smith, A. T. 2005. Order Lagomorpha. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 185-211. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Nelson, E. W. 1909. The rabbits of North America. North American Fauna 29: 1-314.

Retana, O. G. and Lorenzo, C. 2002. Lista de los mamiferos terrestres de Chiapas: endemismo y estado de conservacion. Acta Zoologica 85: 25-49.


Citation: Cervantes, F.A., Lorenzo, C., Farías, V. & Vargas, J. 2008. Lepus flavigularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T11790A3306162. . Downloaded on 30 April 2016.
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