Stable isotope analyses suggest Mus musculus occupies the place of the “possibly extinct” Peromyscus guardia in Angel de la Guarda Island, (Mexico)
According the IUCN Red List criteria, species must be tagged as “possibly extinct” when there is a small chance that they may be extant. This means that the formal acceptance of the extinction is very dependent on search effort. Here, we report two unsuccessful attempts to detect the critically endangered (possibly extinct) Peromyscus guardia on Angel de la Guarda Island (Gulf of California, Mexico). Instead, we found that invader house mice seem to be very abundant just at the same habitat (beaches) where P. guardia were lastly reported. We analyzed the isotopic niche of the house mice, confirming that the species is currently occupying the presumed trophic niche (common use of marine resources: stranded remains and littoral invertebrates) of the last known populations of P. guardia. The apparent replacement of the specialized endemic species by the ubiquitous house mouse is a new evidence of the current trend towards global biodiversity homogenization.
KeywordsConservation Insular fauna Invasive species Marine subsidies Threatened species
We thank Mr. C. Swann for field assistance and for the review of the English of the manuscript; Herbarium (Drs. R. Cadenas and A. Medel), Macroalgae Laboratory (M.C A. Mazariegos), and Animal Ecology Laboratory (A. Cota) of CIBNOR for identification of plants, algae, and cat’s preys; S. Carrasco, J. Navarro, and the Laboratory of Stable Isotopes of EBD (CSIC) for isotopic analyses and explanations; and Dr. Lacher and two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments in improving the manuscript.
Research was supported by a sabbatical grant (number 454959) to M.C. Blázquez, Projects CONACYT 251919 and CONACYT 269540.
- Alvarez-Castañeda ST, Castro-Arellano I, Lacher T, Vázquez E (2008) Peromyscus guardia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16664A6253065. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T16664A6253065.en. Accessed on 01 March 2017
- Alvarez-Castañeda ST, Cortes-Calva P (2009) Familia Muridae. In: Alvarez-Castañeda ST, Ortega-Rubio A (eds) Mamíferos del Noroeste de México. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C, La Paz, pp 445–570Google Scholar
- Berry RJ (1970) The natural history of the house mouse. Field Stud 3:219–262Google Scholar
- Butchart SHM, Stattersfield AJ, Brooks TM (2006) Going or gone: defining ‘Possibly Extinct’ species to give a truer picture of recent extinctions. BOC Bulletin 126A:7–24Google Scholar
- CONANP –FMCN (Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza) (2008) System of monitoring and evaluation of the Fund for the Natural Protected Areas. Unpublished Annual report. 122 pp. Available at: http://toolkit.conservationfinance.org/sites/default/files/documents/monitoring-and evaluation/sistema-de-monitoreo-y-evaluacion-fanp-2008-fmcn-mexico.pdf
- IUCN (2012) IUCN Red List categories and criteria: version 3.1. Second edition. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iv + 32ppGoogle Scholar
- IUCN (2016) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed on 07 Dec 2016
- Lawlor TE, Hafner DJ, Stapp P, Riddle BR, Álvarez-Castañeda ST (2002) The mammals. In: Case TJ, Cody ML, Ezcurra E (eds) A new island biogeography of the Sea of Cortes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 326–361Google Scholar
- Townsend CH (1912) Mammals collected by the ‘Albatross’ expedition in Lower California in 1911, with descriptions of a new species. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 31:117–130Google Scholar