Melanomys zunigae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Melanomys zunigae
Species Authority: (Sanborn, 1949)
Common Name(s):
English Zuniga's Dark Rice Rat
Oryzomys zunigae Sanborn, 1949

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4ac; B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Zeballos, H. & Vivar, E.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because it has not been seen despite extensive searches over the last 50 years, it is suspected to have undergone, or be undergoing, a population decline estimated to be more than 80% over ten years, the extent of occurrence is inferred to be less than 100 km², all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing severe decline in the extent and quality of any remaining habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from the Lomas de Atocongo, a group of low lying hills close to Lima in the west central Peru (Musser and Carleton, 2005). It was recorded between 600 to 800 m.
Possibly extinct:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It has not been recorded since 1949 despite intense searches for the species. The population is believed to have significantly declined, and the species (if it is still extant) is considered to be still declining because of extensive habitat loss within its small range.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is known only from the distinct Coastal Lomas ecosystem (with desert or dryland habitat). It has not been recorded from modified habitats. It is terrestrial and probably nocturnal.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The area that the species is known from has been heavily disturbed through pastoral (goats) grazing and mining activities. The very specific habitat that the species was recorded from is considered to be almost entirely converted.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has not been recorded from any protected areas. Further field studies are needed to try to determine whether this species still persists.

Bibliography [top]

Musser, G. G. and Carleton, M. D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D. E. Wilson and D. A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Sanborn, C. C. 1949. A new species of rice rat (Oryzomys) from the coast of Peru. Publicaciones del Museo de Historia Natural "Javier Prado" 1(3): 1-4.

Zuniga, E. 1942. Observaciones ecologicas sobre las mamiferas de las lomas. Boletim do Museu Nacional "Javier Prado" 6(22-23): 392-399.

Citation: Zeballos, H. & Vivar, E. 2008. Melanomys zunigae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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