Sylvilagus brasiliensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Leporidae

Scientific Name: Sylvilagus brasiliensis
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Tapeti, Forest Rabbit
Spanish Conejo Tropical
Taxonomic Notes: Hall (1981) recognizes the following subspecies occurring in North America: Sylvilagus brasiliensis consobrinus, S. b. dicei, S. b. gabbi, S. b. incitatus, S. b. messorius, and S. b. truei. S. b. dicei has been recognized as a good species since the publication of Hall (1981). Hoffmann and Smith (2005) recognize the following subspecies as occurring south of the Isthmus of Panama: S. b. andinus, S. b. apollinaris, S. b. capsalis, S. b. caracasensis, S. b. chillae, S. b. chotanus, S. b. defilippi, S. b. fulvescens, S. b. gibsoni, S. b. inca, S. b. kelloggi, S. b. meridensis, S. b. minensis, S. b. paraguensis, S. b. peruanus, S. b. sanctaemartae, S. b. surdaster, and S. b. tapetillus. S. brasiliensis is in need of a systematic revision (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mexican Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA), Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Sylvilagus brasiliensis is a widespread (Chapman and Ceballos 1990) and fairly common species that does not appear to be experiencing a severe decline (Reid 1997).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Sylvilagus brasiliensis occurs from southern Tamaluipas, Mexico along the eastern coast of Mexico (excluding the states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche), through Guatemala, (possibly) El Salvador, Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, eastern Costa Rica, Panama, and through the northern half of South America (except at high altitudes), including Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina, and most of Brazil. Distribution in the Amazon region is unknown (Chapman and Ceballos 1990; Hoffmann and Smith 2005). It occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 4,800 m (Ruedas and Salazar-Bravo 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Catamarca, Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, Jujuy, Misiones, Salta, Santa Fé, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán); Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Brasília Distrito Federal, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins); Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico (Chiapas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz); Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):4800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No recent population assessments are available, but in Mexico, Sylvilagus brasiliensis populations are known to decline when its habitat is deforested, though it is able to survive well in second growth forest and pasture (Alvarez de Toro 1977). According to Durant (1986), abundance of S. b. meridensis in high mountains of Venezuela was reduced to 0.04 animals/ha from previously recorded levels of 4.8 animals/ha due to habitat loss.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Sylvilagus brasiliensis primarily inhabits tropical rain forests, deciduous forests, and second growth forests in Mexico and Central America (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). It is also found in pastures bordering forest habitat (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

As recorded in two localities, Chiapas, Mexico, and the Andean Paramos in South America, S. brasiliensis reproduces year-round (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). Gestation time is variable according to location (28-44 days) (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). This species has a small mean litter size (1.2) compared to other members of the genus (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). Total length ranges form 25.0-42.0 cm (Cervantes et al. 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss by deforestation and human settlement poses a threat to this species. As artificial savanna and scrubland replaces tropical forest, S. floridanus range expands and displaces S. brasiliensis (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). This species may be at risk to predators that follow S. floridanus as it spreads new habitat that borders its own (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). The effect of deforestation on the abundance of S. brasiliensis is not well known (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). In Mexico populations decline when habitat is deforested, but S. brasiliensis is known to do well in pasture and second growth forest (Alvarez de Toro 1977).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Sylvilagus brasiliensis is in need of a systematic survey. Its distribution remains unclear with regard to the Amazon region and most of the ecological data is from studies of rabbits in the Paramos of Venezuela (Chapman and Ceballos 1990). The effect of deforestation on abundance requires more study (Chapman and Ceballos 1990).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

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

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial 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 -> 2.3. 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

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Sylvilagus floridanus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Alvarez de Toro, M. 1977. Los Mamiferos de Chiapas. Gobierno del Estado, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, CS, Mexico.

Cervantes, F. A., Zavala, V. I. and Colmenares, A. L. 2005. Sylvilagos brasiliensis (Linnaeus, 1758) Conejo tropical. In: G. Ceballos and G. Oliva (eds), Los mamiferos silvestres de Mexico, pp. 840-841. Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico, D. F.

Chapman, J. A. and Ceballos, G. 1990. Chapter 5: The Cottontails. In: J. A. Chapman and J. C. Flux (eds), Rabbits, hares and pikas: status survey and conservation action plan, pp. 95-110. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Durant, P. 1986. Relaciones filogeneticas y ecologia del conejo de paramo. 6: 5-85.

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

Reid, F. 2009. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Ruedas, L.A. and Salazar-Bravo, J. 2007. Morphological and chromosomal taxonomic assessment of Sylvilagus brasiliensis gabbi (Leporidae). Mammalia 71(1-2): 63-69.

Citation: Mexican Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA), Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H. 2008. Sylvilagus brasiliensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41298A10418161. . Downloaded on 19 January 2017.
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