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Assessment Results

Thorius pennatulus

Assessed for: Mexico   on: 27 May 2020   by: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop
Order: Caudata Family: Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List: Critically Endangered (CR)
IUCN National Red List: (not assessed)
Distribution: Mexico
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score: 14.84953063
© 2008 Arnaud Jamin (1 of 10)

Recommended Conservation Actions:

Additional Comments::

Question # Short Name Question Text Response Comments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Endangered (EN) Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 2,719 km2, it occurs in five or fewer threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. The 2004 assessment of Critically Endangered under criterion A2 was in error as declines took place in the 1970s and 1980s, outside the 10-year time frame that is appropriate for estimating declines of this small salamander species. Therefore, this species is now assessed based on its small distribution and ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat.
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). ED value < 20
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a well-managed or reliably protected area or areas? No / unlikely This species is known from central Veracruz, Mexico; from near Soledad Atzompa in the south to Banderilla in the north. This species has been recorded in four protected areas, one at state level, one at municipal level and two at private level.
5 Habitat for reintroduction, conservation translocation or supplementation Does enough well-managed and reliably protected habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for conservation translocation, including population restoration or conservation intoduction? No / unlikely
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 In situ conservation activities Are any in situ conservation actions currently in place for this species? (Only required if a Red List Assessment has not been completed, or if new actions have been implemented since the last Red List Assessment. (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.). No / unlikely
8 In situ conservation activities Are additional in situ conservation actions (e.g. habitat restoration and/or protection, control of invasive species, national legislation etc.) required to help conserve this species in the wild? Yes / probably Continued and strengthened management of protected area(s) where this species occurs, and expanded protection and maintenance of suitable habitat elsewhere in its range is urgently needed. Suitable closed habitat could be maintained through the use of more biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices, such as shade-grown coffee.
9 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Yes More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats.
10 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats are likely to be reversible in time frame to prevent further decline / extinction The chytrid fungus could be a relevant cause of the decline of populations of this species, in addition to habitat modification due to several human activities like agricultural expansion, shifting agricultural practices, human settlements and mining. All of these human activities pose an ongoing threat to the species (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019).
11 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No / unlikely
12 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Unknown Once very common, this species appears to have undergone a massive decline by the mid 1970s, probably due to the presence of the chytrid fungus (Cheng et al. 2011). There was one individual recorded in the late 1990s, one in 2004, another in 2006 and 13 individuals in 2010. These last 13 specimens were detected with a total sampling effort of 672 person-hours of 22 sites (seven historical and 15 new) (Sandoval-Comte et al. 2012). Additional records were made of the species in 2016 (two individuals) and 2017 (1 individual) (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019).
13 Action plans Does an Action Plan for the species already exist, or is one currently being developed? No
14 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
15 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
16 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No research dependent on this species
17 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
18 Ex situ conservation activities Is any ex situ research or other ex situ conservation action currently in place for this species? (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.) No / unlikely
19 Husbandry analog required If an ex situ rescue program is recommended for this species, would an analog species be required to develop husbandry protocols first? No / unlikely
20 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? No
21 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Not held in captivity to date
22 Conservation education/ecotourism potential Is the species especially diurnal, active or colourful, or is there an interesting or unusual aspect of its ecology that make it particularly suitable to be an educational ambassador for conservation of the species in the range country, either in zoos or aquariums or within ecotourism activities? No
23 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
24 Range State approval If an ex situ initiative was proposed for this species, would it be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
25 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate an ex situ program, if one was recommended? Unknown Research into availability of founders needs to be prioritised.
26 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes

Citation: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop. 2020. Conservation Needs Assessment for Thorius pennatulus, Mexico.
https://conservationneeds.org/(X(1)S(zskqmwcmbzbsljqeinvgulme))/Assessment/AssessmentResults?assessmentId=5380&countryId=91&speciesId=1161. Accessed 14 Jul 2020