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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453

Rev. Mex. Biodiv. vol.89 no.1 México Mar. 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/ib.20078706e.2018.1.2225 

Scientific notes

Distribution, status and conservation needs of the white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis (Lagomorpha)

Distribución, estado y necesidades de conservación de la liebre de costados blancos Lepus callotis (Lagomorpha)

David E. Browna 

Myles B. Traphagenb 

Consuelo Lorenzoc  * 

Martha Gomez-Sapiensb  d 

aSchool of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 874501, Tempe, Arizona 85287-4501, USA

bWildlands Network, Borderlands Program, PO Box 3539, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA

cDepartamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad San Cristóbal, Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, Barrio de María Auxiliadora, 29290 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

dDepartment of Geosciences, University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, PO Box 85721, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Abstract:

Although an important game animal and a species of wide distribution, little is known about the natural history of the white-sided jackrabbit (Lepus callotis), its ecological requirements, and limiting factors. The information available suggests that this species may have undergone a reduction in both population numbers and distribution, and may be endangered due to habitat changes. The information presented herein should facilitate proposals for future research, and conservation and management actions.

Keywords: Conservation; Distribution; Lepus callotis

Resumen:

Aunque se considera un animal de caza importante y una especie de amplia distribución, poco se conoce sobre la historia natural de la liebre torda (Lepus callotis), sus requerimientos ecológicos y factores limitantes. La información disponible sugiere que esta especie pudo haber sufrido una reducción del tamaño poblacional y de su distribución y puede estar en peligro debido a los cambios de hábitat. La información aquí presentada debe facilitar las propuestas para investigaciones futuras y acciones de conservación y manejo.

Palabras clave: Conservación; Distribución; Lepus callotis

Despite having been described by scientists as early as 1830, and being a popular game animal throughout much of Mexico, the natural history and ecological requirements of the white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis are almost unknown (Nelson, 1909). Presently divided into 2 subspecies along parallel 25 N, the nominate species, L. c. callotis occurs in tropic-subtropic savannas, encinales, warm-temperate rosetofilo scrub, juniper woodland, and halophytic vegetation south of the Nazas River from central Durango, through to the northwestern half of Oaxaca, and the northern half of Guerrero (Delgadillo-Quezada, 2011; Leopold, 1972). North of the Nazas River, L. c. gaillardi is found in temperate grasslands in northern Durango, Chihuahua, and extreme southern New Mexico in the United States (Anderson & Gaunt, 1962; Bednarz, 1977; Cook, 1986; Desmond, 2004), and is positively correlated with buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) in New Mexico and Chihuahua (Traphagen, 2002, 2011). The Nazas River has been considered a significant geographical barrier between the separations of subspecies of L. callotis (Petersen, 1976).

Lepus c. gaillardi differs from L. c. callotis in having paler and buffier pelage including a paler rump and an ochraceous throat patch. The white flanks of L. c. gaillardi also show less contrast with the upper body fur of L. c. callotis, while the skulls are typically larger and have a more elevated supraorbital process. Lepus c. gaillardi also has a brown rather than black nape markings and measures larger for body, foot and ear length (Anderson & Gaunt, 1962).

Most of the information available on L. callotis comes from anecdotal observations made by museum collectors and scientists conducting general zoological inventories (e.g., Nelson, 1909). Although a few life history studies of L. c. gaillardi have been conducted (e.g., Bednarz, 1977; Bednarz & Cook, 1984; Desmond, 2004: Traphagen, 2011) only one study has investigated the status of L. c. callotis (Delgadillo-Quezada, 2011). All of the information available suggests that L. c. gaillardi is in serious decline due to environmental changes resulting from overgrazing, shrub invasion and other habitat changes (Dalquest, 1953; Matson & Baker, 1986; Traphagen, 2011). Traphagen (2011) suggested that road kills from US Border Patrol activities may be a significant factor contributing to declining numbers in New Mexico, USA (Fig. 1). The status of L. c. callotis is less clear, but the limited information available for this subspecies indicates that it may also be in trouble due to destruction of its habitat, hunting, disturbance by herders and their dogs, as well as vehicle collisions (Bello-Sánchez, 2010). Additionally, a study that modeled the effects of climate change on grassland mammals in Mexico predicted an 80% reduction in range and habitat of L. callotis by 2050 (Trejo et al., 2011).

Figure 1 Photo of a pair of Lepus callotis gaillardi killed by a vehicle in New Mexico, USA. The larger specimen is a female. 

Several investigators (Bogan & Jones, 1975; Dalquest, 1953; Davis & Lukens, 1958; Davis & Russell, 1954; Findley et al., 1975; Hall & Villa, 1949; Leopold, 1972; Matson & Baker, 1986; Sánchez et al., 2014) reported L. callotis to be uncommon in both New Mexico and Mexico (Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, southeastern Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas). We fear that populations of L. callotis have been diminishing for years, and in some areas are now rare where formerly common. In other areas the species has been or is being replaced by the highly adaptable black-tailed jackrabbit (L. californicus; Baker & Greer, 1962; Desmond, 2004; Hall, 1981). In the Chihuahuan Desert region, L. c. gaillardi has been considered a “mammal in distress” (Baker, 1977). In the United States it has been classified as “threatened” by the State of New Mexico since 1975; however, it is not afforded any protection by the United States federal government under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 2009 the United States Fish and Wildlife was petitioned to list the species under the ESA, but it was rejected after a 12-month review due to only limited information being available on the status of the species in Mexico (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009, 2010). This decision runs counter to the overwhelming number of publications and proceedings which have recommended the species to be considered as endangered throughout its range and in need of research and protection (Baker, 1977; Conway, 1976; Dunn et al., 1982; Findley & Caire, 1977; Wilson & Reeder, 1993). In Mexico, however, the species is not considered to be in “at risk” category (Semarnat, 2010).

In this paper we summarize the distributional records and few studies pertaining to L. callotis. Our purpose is to encourage future field surveys to document current and future threats to the animal’s existence, and to alert governments, academic institutions, and wildlife management agencies as to how little is known of the general occurrence, life history, habitat affiliations, and general welfare of this species.

Using Google Scholar, we reviewed scientific literature about L. callotis, abstracted pertinent information, and plotted collection locales on Google Earth. Collection locations for 281 specimens of L. callotis were obtained from databases in the Mammal Networked Information System (MaNIS; http://www.manisnet.org) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF; http://www.gbif.org). The latitude, longitude, and elevation of these locations were recorded and plotted on a map.

We located 202 specimens of L. c. callotis from 84 localities, and 79 specimens of L. c. gaillardi from 28 locations in museum collections (Table 1; Fig. 2). The collections with the most specimens are in the U.S. National Museum (Smithsonian) and American Museum of Natural History. Museum specimens were collected from the Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Distrito Federal, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas. States less well represented were Michoacán and Guerrero. All of the United States specimens are from southwestern New Mexico. Elevations ranged from 660 to 2,600 m. The proportion of males to females was 54:58, which was not significantly different than 1:1. Localities plotted on Google Earth suggest that most sites are in open grassland.

Figure 2 Collection records for Lepus callotis gaillardi (triangles) and L. c. callotis (circles) from 1890 to 1990. 

Table 1 Summary of Lepus callotis specimens (number in parenthesis) and locations in North American collections. 

Ssp. Museum Catalogue number Country State Lat. Long. Sex Location description Elev. m Year Sources and collectors
ga USNM 72279 USA New Mexico M Hidalgo County: Playas Valley, W fork 1892 VertNet
ga MVZ (2) 50925-26 USA New Mexico 31.842 -108.577 2F, M Hidalgo County: S end W side of Playas Valley 1400 1931 Anderson and Gaunt 1962, Kelly and Alexander, Kellogg
ga MSB, NMMNH (2) 60687, 6036 USA New Mexico 31.416 -108.878 F, M 2.5 mi E Cloverdale Jct. 1580 1976 VertNet, Bednarz
ga MSB 36148 USA New Mexico 32.006 -108.809 M Hidalgo County: 4 mi N Animas Valley 1976 VerNet, Bednarz and Sopyn 1976
ga USNM 20525 USA New Mexico M Hidalgo County: Playas Valley, W fork, near. 1892
ga MSB (2) 36147-48 USA New Mexico 32.007 -108.809 F, M Hidalgo Co. 1360 1976 VertNet, Bednarz
ga MSB (2) 42526-27 USA New Mexico 31.332 -108.82 F, M Hidalgo Co. 1576 1980 VertNet, Bednarz
ga MSB (3) 48484-85, 48597 USA New Mexico 31.452 -108.865 F, M Hidalgo County: Animas Valley, 1 ½ mi N Jct. NM79 &338 1573 1982 Cook 1986, Nelson and Goldman, Sánchez et al. 2014, Dugés 1890
ga MSB (2) 75700, 91734 USA New Mexico 31.56 -108.875 F, M Hidalgo Co. 1555 1992 VertNet, Balch
ga MSB 92674 USA New Mexico 31.495 -108.871 F Hidalgo Co. 1682 1994 VertNet
ga MSB 96184 USA New Mexico 31.474 -108.867 F Gray Ranch, Hwy 388, mi 58.7 1580 1997 VertNet, Runyan
ga MSB 85574 USA New Mexico 31.449 -108.861 F County Rd. CO, 32 mi S Animas 1575 1997 VertNet, Brown
ga USNM 506267 USA New Mexico 31.418 -108.93 F 0.5 km N Cloverdale 1609 1975 VertNet, Bogan and Jones 1975
ga USNM (5) 20522, 25, 27, 30. 31 México Chihuahua 31.323 -108.567 4F, 1M Boundary Line: White Water, Near, Chihuahua 1433 1892 Mearns 1895, Mearns and Holzer (includes holotype specimen for L. c. gaillardi)
ga USNM 36342 México Chihuahua 31.33 -108.531 F East Fork of Playas Valley near Intern. boundary Line 1390 1893 Mearns 1895, Mearns and Merton
ga USNM 58914 México Chihuahua F Mexican Boundary Line: Playas Valley 1893 VertNet
ga USNM (2) 98484-85 México Chihuahua 30.348 -108.095 F, M Colonia Juárez 1652 1899 Nelson and Goldman, Anderson 1972
ga USNM 250848 México Chihuahua 30.24 -108.12 M Dapasitas Ranch 170 1932 Bailey and Winthrop, Anderson 1972
ga MVZ 76200 México Chihuahua 30.806 -108.682 M Llano de Carretas; 27 mi W El Cuervo 1433 1936 VerNet, Anderson 1972, Benson
ga MCZ 5456 México Chihuahua 30.81 -108.68 S. U.S. border 1433 1936 Arctos
ga KU (5) 74154, 57-60 México Chihuahua 28.62 -107.56 3F, 1M 4 mi S, 1 mi W Santo Tomas on Rancho San Ignacio 2027 1957 Anderson 1972, Wimer and Nunex
ga KU 76311 México Chihuahua 29.546 -106.664 M 30 mi W El Gallego, Arroyo El Nido 2012 1957 Anderson 1972
ga UA, MVZ 25366, 121725 México Chihuahua 29.51 -106.738 F, M 27 mi W El Gallego, Arroyo El Nido 2134 1957 Blodel, Lewin Jr.
ga MVZ (4) 124788-91 México Chihuahua 29.443 -106.816 2F, 2M Cañón del Álamo, Sierra de El Nido 1890 1959 VerNet, Leopold 1959, Taylor 1959, Lidicker Jr.
ga KU (9) 82363-71 México Chihuahua 30.772 -108.109 2M 35 mi NW Dublán 1524 1960 Anderson 1972
ga KU (7) 82354, 65-70 México Chihuahua 30.64 -108.056 3F, 3M 18 mi NW Dublán 1455 1960 Anderson 1972
ga KU 82372 México Chihuahua 28.46 -107.27 F 4 mi ESE La Junta 2112 1960 Anderson 1972
ga MVZ (3) 128253-55 México Chihuahua 29.274 -107.012 F, M 1 mi S, 0.5 mi E Santa Clara 1860 1961 VerNet, Pontrelli, Lidicker Jr.
ga MVZ 132195 México Chihuahua 29.462 -106.330 F Ojo Laguna 1540 1963 VerNet, Borell
ga USNM 36342 México Chihuahua 31.33 -108.531 F East Fork of Playas Valley near Intern. boundary Line 1390 1893 Mearns 1895, Mearns and Merton
ga KU (9) 81063-71 México Chihuahua 28.45 -107.45 4F, 4M 2 mi W Miñaca 2103 1959 Anderson 1972
ga CONABIO 39718 México Chihuahua 30.49 -108.025 F 6.7 km N, 15 km W Casas Grandes 1623 1996 González, Moreno
ga KU 66519 México Durango 26.29 -105.19 F 7.5 mi SE Torreón de Canas 1830 1955 VertNet
ca USNM 95577 México Durango 24.039 -104.754 F Durango City 2076 1898 Nelson and Goldman
ca KU (2) 48412-13 México Durango 26.48 -106 2F 1 mi N El Chorro 1950 1952 VertNet
ca KU (6) 62387-92 México Durango 24.86 -104.86 3F, 2M SE end of Laguna de Santiaquillo (Santa Cruz) 1945 1954 VertNet
ca KU (3) 62393-95 México Durango 24.76 -104.77 F, M 2 mi S Sauz 1950 1954 VertNet
ca MSU 934 México Durango 24.3 -104.36 Rancho Las Margaritas, 28 mi S and 17 mi W Vicente Guerrero 2545 1957 Baker and Greer 1962
ca CRD (3) 331-333 México Durango 23.5 -104.16 SS 2600 1986
ca AMNH (4) 21254-57 México Durango 26.62 -105.88 3M Rancho Santuario 2110 1903 Allen 1905
ca AMNH (4) 21578-81 México Durang 26.481 -105.51 Rio Campo 1815 1904 Baker and Greer 1962
ca USNM 90968 México Zacatecas 22.316 -103.546 F Near Monte Escobedo 2220 1897 Nelson 1909
ca MSU (2) 26414-15 México Zacatecas 22.12 -103.56 F, M 20 km S of Monte Escobedo 1920 1978 VerNet, Matson 1978
ca USNM (2) 560058-59 México Zacatecas 22.325 -103.405 F, M 7 mi E Monte Escobedo 2064 1984 Fisher
ca USNM (2) 36871-72 México San Luis 22.409 -101.189 F, M W of Arenal, 42 km NW San Luis Potosí 2316 1892 Nelson 1909, Dalquest 1953
ca KU (2) 58020-21 México San Luis 22.98 -101.79 F, M 4.5 mi SW Herradura 2179 1954 VertNet
ca MCZ (11) 5926-36 México San Luis 3F, 8M No specific locality data
ca CONABIO (4) 18718-19, 16733-34 México San Luis Potosí 23.143 -100.83 2F, 2M 4 km E Cabeza del Rondo Guadalupe, Salinas de Ramos 1943 1981 López, Hernández Barrios
ca ENCB (2) 22197, 99 México Aguascalientes 21.88 -101.88 Aguascalientes 2152 1957 Unk.
ca CNMA 30815 México Guanajuato 18.3 -99.33 Ciudad de Huitzuco de los Figueroa 953 Martínez, Vargas
ca USNM 78467 México Guanajuato 20.483 -100.786 M Celaya 1737 1896 Nelson and Goldman
ca TCWC (3) 5388-89, 5842 México Guanajuato 18.3 -99.3 M General 1024 1954 VertNet
ca CNMA 8892 México Guanajuato 18.132 -99.141 F Cerro de las Mesas,3 km S Apanguito, Atenango del Rio 732 1964 López, Vargas
ca MHNG- Geneva (2) 510, 555 México Guanajuato 21.43 -101.48 No description 2290 Unk Specimen
ca USNM (2) 20457-58 México Jalisco 20.55 -103.79 F, M Guadalajara 1372 1892 Jovy
ca USNM (2) 82181-82 México Jalisco 20.56 -104.04 F, M Ameca 1372 1897
ca USNM (2) 34474-75 México Jalisco 20.78 -104.1 2M EtZatlan 1417 1892 Nelson
ca USNM 34486 México Jalisco 20.69 -103.84 F Teuchitlán 1280 1892 Nelson
ca USNM 34110 México Jalisco 19.67 -103.53 M Zapotlán 1667 1892 Nelson
ca USNM 46433 México Jalisco 20.24 -102.52 M La Barca 1524 1892 VertNet
Ssp. Museum Catalogue number Country State Lat. Long. Sex Location description Elev. m Year Sources and collectors
ca USNM 78975 México Jalisco 21.4 -101.98 F Lagos (de Moreno) 1875 1896 Nelson and Goldman
ca USNM 90904 México Jalisco 22.63v -103.89 M Huejuquilla 1768 1897 Nelson and Goldman
ca AMNH (7) 25864-67, 25952, 35131, 35152 México Jalisco 19.615 -103.663 La Laja in Sierra Espíritu Santo 2240 1903 Allen 1906
ca AMNH (3) 26143-44, 26152 México Jalisco 19.562 -104.087 Las Canoas, 40 mi W Tuxpan 2134 1903 Allen 1906
ca AMNH (9) 25023, 279-83,85-86, 25997 México Jalisco 19.473 -103.553 Arroyo de Gavillan, 20 mi W San Marcos 1608 1903 Allen 1906
ca USNM 127870 México Jalisco 20.354 -102.604 F Ocotlán 1555 1903 VertNet
ca AMNH (4) 26143-45, 26152 México Jalisco 19.535 103.612 3F, 1M Ciudad Guzmán: Arroyo Las Canoas, Atenquiqui (Nevada de Colima) 1904 Allen 1906
ca AMNH (7) 25864-67, 25952, 35151-52 México Jalisco 4F, 2M Encarnación de Díaz: La Laja 1905
ca KU 31842 México Jalisco 20.15 -104.04 F 3.5 mi S Tecolotan 1220 1949 VertNet
ca KU (2) 38661-62 México Jalisco 21.21 -102.92 F, M 3 mi NW Yahualica 1914 1950 VertNet
ca KU (2) 39738-39 México Jalisco 21.1 -102.47 F, M 14 mi SW San Juan de Los Lagos 1828 1950 VertNet
ca KU 38663 México Jalisco 20.87 -102.77 F 4 mi N, 1 mi W Tepatitlan 2003 1950 VertNet
ca KU 36920 México Jalisco 20.74 -103.62 M 5 mi N, 18 mi W Guadalajara 137 1950 VertNet
ca KU 38664 México Jalisco 20.24 -104.45 M 11 mi NW Ayutla 187 1950 VertNet
ca KU (2) 38557, 38667 México Jalisco 20.554 -103.229 F 7 mi SE Guadalajara 1615 1950 VertNet
ca KU (2) 38665-66 México Jalisco 21.17 -102.96 2M 5 mi W Yahualica 1950
ca KU (4) 107512-15 México Jalisco 22.3 -103.29 2F La Mesa Maria de Leon 2207 1966 VertNet
ca KU 105585 México Jalisco 22.02 -103.59 F Villa Guerrero 1687 1966 VertNet
ca KU 107516 México Jalisco 21.73 -101.75 M 10 mi NW Matanzas 2250 1966 VertNet
ca UNAM (3) 29034-36 México Jalisco 19.987 -102.965 2F, 1M 5 km N, 6.5 km E Mazamitla, Mazamitla 2100 1990 González, Moreno Almeraya
ca CONABIO 29787 México Jalisco 19.837 -102.844 M 8 km N, 6 km E Buena Vista, Valley de Juárez 2100 1991 González, Moreno
ca CONABIO (6) 34340, 34846-50 México Jalisco 19.988 -102.96 5F, 1M Buena Vista, Valle de Juárez, 8 km N, 6.5 km E Mazamitla, Mazamitla 2100 1992 González
ca UNAM- CONABIO 35221 México Jalisco 20.084 -103.152 F 8 km N, 6.5 km E Mazamitla, La Mazamitla La Paz 2050 1993 Cervantes
ca UNAM (4) 27650-52, 35221 México Jalisco 19.99 -102.96 2F Valle de Juárez, 8 km N, 6.5 km E Mazamitla 2100 1990-93 Lorenzo, Moreno
ca KU 109100 México Jalisco 19.59 -103.91 F Toliman 2710 VertNet
ca AMNH 35158 México Jalisco 19.77 -62.7 Jalisco
ca UNAM- CONABIO (9) 27655-58, 29033, 35217-20 México Jalisco 20.084 -103.152 5F, 4M 10 km NW, 2 km E La Rosa Amarilla, La Manzanilla de la Paz 2050 1990-93 González, Cervantes, Moreno
ca USNM 36865 México Michoacán 19.781 -100.892 M Querendaro 2135 1892 VertNet
ca USNM 125687 México Michoacán 19.576 -102.448 M Los Reyes 1372 1903 Nelson and Goldman
ca KU (3) 39740, 41, 43 México Michoacán 20.404 -102.052 F, 2M 19 mi S Apatzingan, 5 mi N Las Cruces 1738 1950 VertNet
ca KU 39742 México Michoacán 18.78 -102.24 M 21 mi S Apatzingan; 3 mi N Las Cruces 1950
ca USNM (3) 560036, 560056-57 México Michoacán 18.857 -102.133 1F, 2M Capirio, 1 mi SW Hwy 37; 1.1 mi SW Capirio SW 37 1660 1984 Reynolds
ca CONABIO (2) 27653-54 México Michoacán 20.024 -102.968 2F 11 km E, 1.5 km N San Miguel el Alto, San José de Gracia 1904 1990 González, Moreno, Castellanos
ca CONABIO 29790 México Michoacán 19.991 -102.979 1F 11 km E, 2 km N El Alto, San José de Gracia, Marcos Castellanos 2100 1991 González, Moreno
ca USNM 55596 México Hidalgo 20.12 -98.34 M Tulancingo 2590 1893 Nelson
ca USNM 78482 México Hidalgo 20.19 -99.49 F Marques 2378 1896 Nelson and Goldman
ca CNMA 40787 México Tlaxcala 19.551 -98.192 M 2.8 km NNE Loma San Jose, Atlangatepec 2536 1999 Montiel-R
ca CNMA 40790 México Tlaxcala 19.637 -98.181 F 3.6 km SE Atlangatepec 2506 1999 Montiel-R., Hortelano
ca CNMA (2) 40788-89 México Tlaxcala 19.539 -98.193 F, M 1.8 km NE San Antonio Zacatelco, Atlangatepec 2509 1999 Montiel-R., Hortelano
ca CONABIO 17038 México Estado de México 19.192 -99.717 M Santiago Miltepec, Municipo Toluca 1979 Galindo
ca CNMA (2) 19592-93 México Mexico City 19.477 -98.823 2F Tequesquinahuac, Texcoco 2487 1982 Cervantes, Vargas
ca USNM (6) 51113-16, 18-19 México Morelos 18.531 -98.764 4F, 2M Cuernavaca 1524 1905 Nelson 1909
ca TCWC 4948 México Morelos 18.9 -99.3 M General 1690 1950 VertNet
ca USNM 55586 México Puebla 19.29 -98.42 M San Martin 2256 1893 Nelson
ca USNM (4) 55329-32 México Puebla 18.812 -98.45 1F, 3M Atlixco 1646 1893 Nelson
ca USNM 53639 México Puebla 18.468 -97.451 F Tehuacán 1759 1893 Nelson
ca TCPB 412 México Puebla 18.33 -97.55 SW Tehuacan 1656 1977 TCPB
ca USNM 8561 México Veracruz 18.9 -97.24 Orizaba 2548 1910 Sumichrist
ca CNMA (2) 8894 México Guerrero 18.264 -99.288 M 0.5 km NW Amatitlan Grande, Huitzuco 1141 1964 Martínez, Vargas
ca CNMA 8893 México Guerrero 18.323 -99.335 F 2 km N Huitzuco 1030 1964 Martínez, Vargas
ca TCWC (3) 5314-16 México Guerrero 2F, 1M Guerrero 1953
ca TCWC 5388 México Guerrero F Guerrero 1954
ca TCWC (2) 5843-44 México Guerrero F, M Guerrero 1956
ca CNMA 40122 México Guerrero 18.347 -99.55 1 km E Tuxpan, Iguala de la Independencia 992 1997 Cervantes
ca CNMA 40424 México Guerrero 18.307 -99.479 M On camino a Tlaxmalac 4.5 km Tuxpan, Iguala 1040 1997 Cervantes, Hortelano
ca TCWC 5842 México Guerrero M Guerrero
ca ROM 870 México Oaxaca 17.808 -97.458 3 km NE Jicotalan 2160 VertNet
ca USNM (4) 55329-32 México Oaxaca 17.484 -98.275 F Tlapamcingo 1585 1894 Nelson and Goldman
ca USNM 68216 México Oaxaca 17.051 -96.615 M Ciudad Oaxaca 1585 1894 Nelson and Goldman
ca ENCB (3) 4088-90 México Oaxaca 17.83 -97.45 NW Oaxaca 2286 196
ca CNMA 45259 México Oaxaca 18.141 -97.784 0.125 km S, 0.5 km SE Coseltepec 1931 1997 Cervantes, Hortelano
ca CNMA 45258 México Oaxaca 18.14 -97.804 M 2.25 km S, 1 km W Loma de Tres Cruces, Coseltepec 1920 1997 Cervantes, Hortelano

Lepus c. callotis was originally described as a species in 1830 by Wagler from specimens collected at the southern end of “Mexican tableland”, Lepus c. gaillardi was originally described as a species in 1895 by E. A. Mearns from a series of specimens collected on the USA Boundary Survey including a holotype specimen from Chihuahua. After 1904, there is a gap of 27 years without any collected specimens of either subspecies due to armed conflicts initiated in 1910 with the Mexican Revolution. It was not until 1931 that L. c. gaillardi and L. c. callotis were again collected. We found no records of the species in collections dated after 1999 when the animal was completely protected in New Mexico and after the onset of the current period of insecurity in rural Mexico.

Lepus callotis is considered as “near threatened” in the IUCN red list (IUCN 2017), however, biological information is scarce, and the actual distribution and status of L. callotis are unknown, particularly in Mexico where most of its distribution occurs. We propose a detailed, long term study of the mortality factors effecting L. callotis, and an investigation into the taxonomy of this species, since the subspecies have morphologic and ecological differences that may influence conservation actions.

We assembled a table of museum collection locales (Table 1) so that biologists might better understand the status of L. callotis and alert governments, academic institutions, and wildlife management agencies of how little is known about general occurrence, life history and habitat affiliations of this animal. Hopefully, this information will encourage further study into the animal’s ecological affiliations, habitat requirements, and general welfare lest it disappear without its natural history being understood.

We thank D. Navarrete for her help drawing Figure 2. Comments from two anonymous reviewers improved this research note.

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Recebido: 05 de Abril de 2017; Aceito: 29 de Agosto de 2017

*Corresponding author: clorenzo@ecosur.mx (C. Lorenzo)

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