The MICHOACAN POCKET GOPHER (
Zygogeomys trichopus) is a species of
rodent in the family
Geomyidae . It is monotypic within the genus
ZYGOGEOMYS. It is endemic to
Mexico where its natural habitat is
temperate, high-altitude forests . Its numbers are declining and it is
listed by the
IUCN as "endangered ".
* 1 Description
* 2 Distribution and habitat
* 3 Natural history
* 4 Status
* 5 References
Michoacan pocket gopher is a small animal with short, dense,
black, lustrous fur and a hairless tail. The eyes are small and
deep-set and there is a pad-like region of bare skin just behind the
nostrils . It is docile when caught, making no attempt to bite as do
other pocket gophers.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Michoacan pocket gopher is endemic to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic
Belt mountain range in central southern Mexico, where it occurs in
four discrete locations near west of Lake Pátzcuaro at altitudes over
2,200 metres (7,200 ft). The fossil record shows that members of the
Zygogeomys , including two other now extinct species, were
widespread in the late
Pliocene epoch in the southwestern United
States. Its typical habitat is mixed forests of spruce , pine , and
alder with deep friable soil suitable for burrowing. A number of small
populations separated by unsuitable terrain exist. The species shows
little genetic variation and the present population may be a relict of
a previous, more widespread distribution.
Michoacan pocket gopher lives in a burrow and throws up a
characteristic, cone-shaped mound of soil on the surface with no
visible entrance. A central chamber has been found 2 m (6 ft 7 in)
underground and may be where the young are raised. Little is known of
the animal's breeding habits, which may be seasonal, as males caught
in March and August had small testes while one caught in December had
large ones. A pregnant female containing one embryo has been caught in
December. This animal is seldom caught in surface traps and it may
live and forage almost entirely underground.
In its natural habitat of
Michoacán , the pocket gopher has been
reported to cause damage to avocado trees and mutilate young trees in
reforestation projects, as well as wreak structural damage on roads,
building sites, and irrigation canals.
The habitat requirements of the
Michoacan pocket gopher are very
specific, and where agriculture replaces the native woodland in which
it lives, it is restricted to higher altitudes and tends to be
replaced by other species of pocket gopher (
Pappogeomys ). Its total
area of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2 (1,900 sq mi), its range is
fragmented, and its population is declining, and the
IUCN has listed
it as "endangered ".
* ^ A B C D Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T.; Castro-Arellano, I.; Lacher,
T.; Vázquez, E.; Arroyo-Cabrales, J. (2008). "
IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International
Union for Conservation of Nature . Retrieved 16 September 2014.
* ^ Patton, J.L. (2005). "Family Geomyidae". In Wilson, D.E.;
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic
Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 870. ISBN
OCLC 62265494 .
* ^ A B C D E Hafner, Mark S.; Barkley, Linda J. (1984). "Genetics
and Natural History of a Relictual Pocket Gopher, Zygogeomys
(Rodentia: Geomyidae)". Journal of Mammalogy. 65 (3): 474–479. JSTOR
1381094 . doi :10.2307/1381094 .
* ^ A B Hafner, Mark S.; Hafner, John C. (1982). "Structure of
Surface Mounds of
Zygogeomys (Rodentia: Geomyidae)". Journal of
Mammalogy. 63 (3): 536–538.
JSTOR 1380465 . doi :10.2307/1380465 .
* ^ Whisson, Desley (1994). "The Pocket Gopher as a Pest in
Mexico". Proceedings – Vertebrate Pest Conference. University of
Wisconsin at Madison. 16: 151.
* ^ Mares, Michael A.; Schmidly, David J. (1991). Latin American
Mammalogy: History, Biodiversity, and Conservation. University of
Oklahoma Press. p. 182. ISBN 0806123435 .
Extant species of family
Geomyidae (Pocket gophers)
* Kingdom: Animalia
* Order: Rodentia
Yellow-faced pocket gopher (C. castanops)
Smoky pocket gopher (C. fumosus)
* Merriam\'s pocket gopher (C. merriami)
(Eastern pocket gophers)
Desert pocket gopher (G. arenarius)
* Attwater\'s pocket gopher (G. attwateri)
* Baird\'s pocket gopher (G. breviceps)
Plains pocket gopher (G. bursarius)
* Knox Jones\'s pocket gopher (G.