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Lepus alleni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus alleni
Species Authority: Mearns, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Antelope Jackrabbit
Spanish Liebre Antílope
Taxonomic Notes: There are currently three recognized subspecies, Lepus alleni alleni, L. a. palitans, and L. a. tiburonensis (Hall 1981).

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. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
This species is considered widespread with stable populations throughout much of its distribution. As such it does not qualify for threat status under current criteria. Recent declines in southern Arizona should be monitored. Status of the insular population, L. a. tiburonensis, should be reviewed. This subspecies is currently listed under Mexican Official Norm NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2001 and granted "special protection" (AMCELA pers. comm.).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Lepus alleni occurs from south-central Arizona (USA) to northern Sonora, Sinaloa, and the northern part of Nayarit (Mexico) and Tiburon Island in the Gulf of California, Mexico (Best and Henry 1993). It also occurs in the extreme south-west region of Chihuahua (Cuenca and Cervantes 2005). This species can be found at elevations ranging from sea level (Sonora) to 1,500 m (southern Arizona) (Best and Henry 1993).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Sonora); United States (Arizona)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Lepus alleni populations do not experience cyclic fluctuations in population density (Flux and Angermann 1990). There are undocumented reports of population declines in southern Arizona. The average population density is 0.3/ha (Swihart 1986). L. a. tiburonensis is considered endemic and rare.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lepus alleni is associated with common dense scrub. This species is nocturnal and crepuscular (Best and Henry 1993). In Arizona, L. alleni occurs in a variety of habitats, but is most common in areas with desert shrub and grasses (Best and Henry 1993). In areas of southern Arizona where Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) has become established population numbers of L. alleni have been declining (Best and Henry 1993). In Mexico, L. alleni is sited along coastal foothills, low and open grasslands, and the arid upper-tropical subzone (Best and Henry 1993). The average home range is 642.8 ha (Swihart 1986). The breeding season extends from January to October and gestation is approximately 42 days (Vorhies and Taylor 1933). L. alleni is capable of having seven litters per year with an average litter size of 1.93 (Flinders and Chapman 2003). It is estimated that L. alleni reaches sexual maturity between seven to 11 months, based on related species (Lepus, californicus, L. callotis, and L. flavigularis) (AMCELA pers. comm.).

Studies analyzing stomach content determined the diet of L. alleni. Various grass species (45%), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) (36%) and several cacti species (7.8%) constituted the bulk of their intake (Vorhies and Taylor 1933). Overall percentages varied according to seasonal precipitation (Flinders and Chapman 2003). The total length is 55.3-67.0 cm (Hall and Kelson 1959). Specimen measurements, from the National Mammalogy Collection at UNAM (CNMA), show that L. a. tiburonensis tends to be smaller with total length ranging from 50.0-60.5 cm (AMCELA pers. comm.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is some hunting for sport and local subsistence.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat changes are occurring along the coasts of Nayarit, Sinaloa and Sonora as a result of expanding agriculture (Best and Henry 1993). The impact has been negligible, but it is anticipated that problems associated with habitat change will produce population declines (Chapman et al. 1983). Hunting for sport and local subsistence, human perturbation and exotic predation are considered threats for this species. In some places the animal competition (livestock), habitat fragmentation and human-induced fire represent important threats for their populations. Competition from L. californicus could become a future threat, as the black-tailed jackrabbit's range expands (Flux and Angermann 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The presence of Lepus alleni alleni has been verified within Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. L. alleni tiburonensis is currently listed under Mexican Official Norm NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2001, because it is an insular and endemic species, granting it "special protection" (AMCELA pers. comm.).

Citation: Mexican Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA), Romero Malpica, F.J. & Rangel Cordero, H. 2008. Lepus alleni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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