Ctenomys australis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Ctenomyidae

Scientific Name: Ctenomys australis Rusconi, 1934
Common Name(s):
English Southern Tuco-tuco
Taxonomic Source(s): Bidau, C.J. 2015. Family Ctenomyidae Lesson, 1842. In: Patton, J.L., Pardiñas, U.F.J. and D’Elía, G. (eds), Mammals of South America, pp. 818-877. The University of Chicago Press.
Taxonomic Notes: This species is monotypic (Bidau 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2016-06-20
Assessor(s): Bidau, C.J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): McCay, S.
This species is assessed as Endangered because its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be less than 500 km², within which it is known from fewer than five locations. Remaining populations are severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its dune habitat due to development for tourism in the fragile sand dune habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed along the Atlantic coast of southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina, within the Pampa ecoregion (Bidau 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Buenos Aires)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:72Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:44013.33
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is limited to a small range due to its specific requirements and fragile habitat. Population decline is possible due to degradation of this habitat. Recent genetic studies suggest a recent population expansion (de Freitas 2016). The average young per litter is 2.9 (Zenuto and Busch cited in Busch et al.2000)
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits the first line of dunes facing the Atlantic Ocean in Necochea, Argentina (de Freitas 2016). It occurs in coastal sand dune habitats with grasses (Panicum; Poa) (Malizia et al. 1991, Comparatore et al. 1992). It only occurs within 50 m of the coast, in the first line of the dunes. This species has also been found to inhabit the second line of dunes if in areas of rare vegetation. This species prefers areas of sparse vegetation and deep, sandy soils. Little is known about its biology or habits other than that it is solitary (de Freitas 2016). 
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):1.6

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species are the development of resorts for beach tourism and the establishment of pine plantations, both of which lead to significant habitat loss.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures being taken to protect this species.

Classifications [top]

13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.3. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Sand Dunes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

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
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.1. Small-holder plantations
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Bidau, C.J. 2015. Family Ctenomyidae Lesson, 1842. In: Patton, J.L., Pardiñas, U.F.J. and D’Elía, G. (eds), Mammals of South America, pp. 818-877. The University of Chicago Press.

Busch, C., Antinuchi, C.D., del Valle, J.C., Kittlein, M.J., Vasallo, M.J. and Zenuto, R.R. 2000. Population ecology of subterranean rodents. In: E. lacey, J.L. Patton and G.N. Cameron (eds), Life underground. The biology of subterranean rodents, pp. 186-226. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

Busch, M., Malizia, A. I., Scaglia, O. A. and Reig, O. A. 1989. Spatial distribution and attributes of a population of Ctenomys talarum (Rodentia: Octodontidae). Journal of Mammalogy 70(1): 204-208.

Comparatore, V. M., Agnusdei, M., Busch, C. 1992. Habitat relations in sympatric populations of Ctenomys australis and Ctenomys talarum (Rodentia: Octodontidae) in a natural grassland. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 57: 47-55.

de Freitas, T.R.O. 2016. Family Ctenomys. In: Wilson, D.E., Lacher, T.E., Jr and Mittermeier, R.A. (eds), Handbook of Mammals of the World.

IUCN. 2018. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-1. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2018).

Malizia, A. I., Vassallo, A. I. and Busch, C. 1991. Population and habitat characteristics of 2 sympatric species of Ctenomys (Rodentia, Octodontidae). Acta Theriologica Sinica 36(1-2): 87-94.

Ojeda, R.A. and Diaz, G.B. (eds). 2000. Libro rojo de los mamíferos amenazados de Argentina. pp. 106. SAREM.

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.

Patton, J.L., Pardiñas, U.F.J. and D'Elía, G. 2015. Mammals of South America: Volume 2, Rodents. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Citation: Bidau, C.J. 2018. Ctenomys australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T5796A78319377. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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