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1 April 2011 Conservation Status of the Threatened, Insular San Jose Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus mansuetus)
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The conservation status and distribution of the insular endemic San Jose brush rabbit (Sylvilagus mansuetus), as well as threats to its population viability, were determined through surveys undertaken since 1995 on San José Island in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Sylvilagus mansuetus is restricted to a specific desert habitat found in the southwestern coastal plains of the island. Vegetation in this habitat is composed primarily of 7 plant species. The extent of rabbit occurrence is only 20 km2, and the population density estimate in the most optimal habitat is 25–35 individuals · km-2. To our knowledge, the San Jose brush rabbit possesses the smallest distribution among all lagomorph species. Sylvilagus mansuetus is threatened by a population of feral cats and by human activities, including illegal hunting, development of a tourist area, and a salt mine. Human activities, even over a short time frame, could severely impact this restricted area and endanger the survival of this species. Recommended management includes removing cats and conducting additional research on the rabbit's life history and ecology.

Consuelo Lorenzo, Sergio Ticul Álvarez-Castañeda, and Jorge Vázquez "Conservation Status of the Threatened, Insular San Jose Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus mansuetus)," Western North American Naturalist 71(1), 10-16, (1 April 2011).
Received: 18 January 2010; Accepted: 1 December 2010; Published: 1 April 2011

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