Otomys tropicalis 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Otomys tropicalis
Species Authority: Thomas, 1902
Common Name(s):
English Tropical Vlei Rat
Otomys dollmani Heller, 1912
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously synonymized with O. irroratus. Current taxonomic research supports the distinctiveness of this species (S. Maree pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-13
Assessor(s): Taylor, P.J. & Maree, S.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution including several protected areas, a presumed large population, and its population is not believed to be in decline at present.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from southern Sudan, to northern Malawi, through Uganda, into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ruwenzori Moutntains range), Rwanda and Burundi, central and southern Kenya and Tanzania. It is found up to 4,500 m asl. The distribution of populations formerly recognised as Otomys orestes is unclear, but are generally confined to the type locality area of Teleki Valley, near the summit of Mount Kenya, in Kenya from 3,200 to 4,500 m asl. Animals formerly recognised as Otomys dollmani are known only from the type locality of Mount Gargues, in the Matthews Range of Kenya, just north of Mount Kenya at about 2,100 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Rwanda; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2100
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Overall, it is a very common species. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it has been recorded at 42.5 individuals/ha in disturbed savanna habitats, but in areas with fire regimes in place the populations are found to be much lower.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in a wide variety of habitats from lowland to montane grassland and also from swamps. It is also known from plantations such as coffee and banana.
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no threats to this species. It can be a pest species causing damage to tree plantations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of the species includes a few protected areas. There is a need for further investigation into the taxonomic status of populations currently included within Otomys tropicalis.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Delany, M.J. 1975. The Rodents of Uganda. Trustees British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Happold, M. and Happold, D.C.D. 2013. Chiroptera. In: M. Happold and D.C.D. Happold (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Volume IV Hedgehogs, Shrews, and Bats, Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

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.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Setzer, H.W. 1956. Mammals of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 106: 447-587.

Shore, R.F. and Garbett, S.D. 1991. Notes on the small mammals of the Shira Plateau, Mount Kilimanjaro. Mammalia 55(4): 601-607.

Taylor, P.J. and Kumirai, A. 2001. Craniometric relationships between the Southern African vlei rat, Otomys irroratus (Rodentia, Muridae, Otomyinae) and allied species from north of the Zambezi River. In: C. Denys, L. Granjon and A. Poulet (eds), African small mammals, pp. 161-181. IRD Éditions, Collection Colloques et Séminaires, Paris, France.

Citation: Taylor, P.J. & Maree, S. 2016. Otomys tropicalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15660A22396423. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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