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Geomys pinetis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA GEOMYIDAE

Scientific Name: Geomys pinetis
Species Authority: Rafinesque, 1817
Common Name/s:
English Cumberland Island Picket Gopher, Southeastern Pocket Gopher
Taxonomic Notes: Laerm (1981) and Hall (1981) regarded subspecies cumberlandius of Cumberland Island, Georgia, as a distinct species, but Baker et al. (2003) and Patton (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005) did not. Baker et al. and Patton also did not follow Hall (1981) in treating colonus and fontanelus as species distinct from G. pinetis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer/s: Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern since it is widespread, common, there are no major threats, and its population is not currently declining fast enough to qualify in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from southeastern United States, from southern Alabama, southern Georgia, and all but the southern third of Florida (Pembleton and Williams 1978).

The subspecies goffi occurred on the Pineda Ridge, along the Indian River, in the vicinity of Eau Gallie (now incorporated into Melbourne), Brevard County, Florida. Historically it was known from 3.2 km north and south of Eau Gallie and as far as 3.2 km inland from the Indian River (Layne 1978, Sherman 1944).
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The southeastern pocket gopher can be common in suitable habitat, but density varies geographically. The last known colony of subspecies goffi was recorded in 1955 and since then no further sightings of the taxon have been documented.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species of pocket gopher is found in the deep, sandy soils associated with the open areas of long-leaf pine woods of the southeastern United States. Like other pocket gophers it is primarily fossorial, only leaving its burrow briefly to disperse or feed on above ground vegetation. It is absent from the silt loam soils of the Rio Grande Floodplain.

Breeding occurs year-round, with peak mating activity from January to August. Litter size is an average of two young per female. Up to two litters per year. Except during breeding season, only one individual occupies a burrow system. Pocket gophers are ecologically important as prey items and in influencing soils, microtopography, habitat heterogeneity, diversity of plant species, and primary productivity (Huntly and Inouye 1988). The diet is primarily roots, fleshy rhizomes, green succulents, and grasses. Peak activity probably occurs from dusk to dawn. They are active year-round.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threat to this species overall. Habitat destruction by continued human development of limited habitat areas threatens three subspecies (colonus, fontanelus and cumberlandius) in Georgia (Hafner et al., 1998).

Conversion of the only known site of occurrence of subspecies goffi to human use apparently led to its extinction.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation measures are needed to protect three subspecies in Georgia, colonus, fontanelus and cumberlandius. Areas where these subspecies are known to occur should be converted to wildlife sanctuaries and further human development should be halted. Additional surveys should be done to establish the status and distribution of these remaining subspecies and assess areas of highest priority (Hafner et al., 1998).

Sherman's pocket gopher (G. p. fontanelus ) is considered to be Endangered and possibly extinct by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Hafneret al., 1998). Goff's pocket gopher (G. p. goffi) in Florida is presumed extinct.

Bibliography [top]

Baker, R. J., Bradley, L. C., Bradley, R. D., Dragoo, J. W., Engstrom, M. D., Hoffman, R. S., Jones, C. A., Reid, F., Rice, D. W. and Jones, C. 2003. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2003. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 229: 23 pp.

Hafner, D. J., Yensen, E. and Kirkland Jr., G. L. 1998. Status survey and conservation action plan - North American Rodents. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

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

Huntly, N. and Inouye, R. 1988. Pocket gophers in ecosystems: patterns and mechanisms. BioScience 38: 386-793.

Laerm, J. 1981. Systematic status of the Cumberland Island pocket gopher, Geomys cumberlandius. Brimleyana 6: 141-161.

Layne, J. N. (ed.). 1978. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. 1. Mammals. pp. 52 pp.. State of Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission.

Patton, J. L. 1993. Family Heteromyidae. In: D. E. Wilson and D. A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 477-486. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Patton, J. L. 2005. Family Geomyidae. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 859-871. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Pembleton, E. F. and Williams, S. L. 1978. Geomys pinetis. Mammalian Species 86: 1-3.

Sherman, H. B. 1944. A new subspecies of Geomys from Florida. Proceedings of the New England Zoology Club 23: 37-40.

Wilson, D. E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Geomys pinetis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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