Twenty-one specimens

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Twenty-one specimens

Post by kimerajamm on Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:56 pm

Twenty-one specimens of O. peninsulae are known: six were caught at Santa Anita in 1896 by D. Coolidge, and Edward William Nelson and Edward Alphonso Goldman obtained fifteen additional individuals in 1906 at San José del Cabo.[18] The two localities, which are about 13 km (8 mi) apart, were both located along the Río San José, a river in southernmost Baja California Sur, near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Like other Oryzomys, O. peninsulae is a semiaquatic species, spending much of its time in the water, but suitable habitat for such a species is estimated to be no more than 13 km2 (5.0 sq mi) on the arid Baja California peninsula.[19]
Río San José no longer exists, having fallen prey to irrigation projects, and touristic development of its estuary has resulted in pollution. Biologists working in the area in 1979 and from 1991 to 1993 failed to find O. peninsulae, casting doubt on its continued existence. The lack of records for over a century, small distribution, and destruction of the only known habitat led Carleton and Arroyo-Cabrales to consider the conservation status of O. peninsulae as "critically endangered, if not extinct". They noted that the status of the species had previously been obscured because it had been lumped for decades under O. couesi, a widely distributed and secure species

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