Sylvilagus cognatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Leporidae

Scientific Name: Sylvilagus cognatus Nelson, 1907
Common Name(s):
English Manzano Mountain Cottontail
Taxonomic Notes: There are no recognized subspecies of Sylvilagus cognatus, which was formerly included as a subspecies of S. floridanus (Hall 1981).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-21
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. and Ruedas, A.R.
Reviewer(s): Battistoni, A.
Contributor(s): Boyer, A.F.
With an improved range map, and some information on its status, we are able to list Sylvilagus cognatus as Endangered (EN) under criterion B1; its extent of occurrence is 4,191 km². The known range for this species is in the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, two mountain chains that are separated by Tijeras Canyon, which drops to an elevation of ca. 2,100 m. Its habitat is declining due to drought, wildfire and degradation. This is below the generally preferred elevational range of the species. Further, the two mountain ranges are separated by a major interstate freeway which severely bisects any chances for the rabbits to disperse between sites. There are few specimens from the Sandia range.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Sylvilagus cognatus occurs in the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico, USA (Hall 1981). It is known from the type locality within the vicinity of Rea Ranch, New Mexico, on the “northeast side of Bosque Peak, at 2,880 m” elevation (Frey et al. 1997). There are records of a specimen found in 1956 on the eastern slope of the Sandia Mountains, at 8,500 ft, and another was possibly sighted at 11,650 ft near Sandia Crest (Ivey 1957) but it is unclear whether the Sandia Mountains even can be included in its current distribution.
Countries occurrence:
United States (New Mexico)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):2300
Upper elevation limit (metres):3100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is little information available about the population status of Sylvilagus cognatus.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Sylvilagus cognatus occurs in a high elevation area where conifer forest dominates. It is unknown what type of cover S. cognatus requires. It is assumed that habitat requirements and ecology are similar to S. floridanus.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to Sylvilagus cognatus include that the species may be affected by loss of habitat, drought, and wildfire (New Mexico Drought Task Force 2005). In the Sandia mountains a major ski resort road further fragments their restricted habitat. Suitable habitat in the Sandia range only covers 100-110 km², an area that is shrinking due to the effects global warming.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: As a recently split and relatively unstudied species, there are currently no conservation measures in place for Sylvilagus cognatus. Research is needed to determine the population status, threats, and habitat requirements for this species before recommendations can be made.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Frey, J. K., Fisher, R. D. and Ruedas, L. A. 1997. Identification and restriction of the type locality of the Manzano Mountains cottontail, Sylvilagus cognatus Nelson, 1907 (Mammalia: Lagomorpha: Leporidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110: 329-331.

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

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Ivey, R. D. 1957. Ecological notes on the mammals of Bernalillo county, New Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy 38(4): 490-502.

New Mexico Drought Task Force. 2005. Species that may be impacted by drought. Office of the State Engineer Interstate Stream Commission.

Ruedas, L.A. 1998. Systematics of Sylvilagus Gray, 1867 (Lagomorpha: Leporidae) from southwestern North America. Journal of Mammalogy 79: 1355-1378.

Citation: Smith, A.T. and Ruedas, A.R. 2016. Sylvilagus cognatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41309A45193738. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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