• Distribution and habitat of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in Sonora, Mexico, 1892-2019

      Flesch, Aaron D.; Rodríguez-Estrella, Ricardo; Gallo-Reynoso, Juan Pablo; Armenta-Méndez, Lucila; Montiel-Herrera, Marcelino; Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm, Desert Lab Tumamoc Hill (INST BIOLOGIA, UNIV NACIONAL AUTONOMA MEXICO, 2020-03-23)
      The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is listed as threatened in Mexico but there is little information on populations in the state of Sonora. We amalgamated 121 records of the Golden Eagle in Sonora between 1892 and 2019, including 49 observations by the authors between 1997 and 2016. Observations were from all months of the year, peaked during the breeding season and again in December with 53.7% representing likely breeding individuals. Most observations were from the Sky Islands region and Sonoran Desert of northern Sonora, with fewer from coastal west-central and especially southern Sonora. Most observations were from grasslands (34.3%), Madrean evergreen woodland (31.3%), and desert-scrub (30.3%), and very few were from subtropical forest and thorn-scrub (< 2.0%) suggesting preference for open vegetation communities that foster hunting. We found evidence of recent occupation of all general portions of Sonora that were occupied historically, except in central Sonora due possibly to changes in land use and land cover. Although our results suggest broad-scale distribution has been largely stable, more focused monitoring is needed to understand population trends. Large-scale urban and agricultural development, loss of grasslands and other open environments, electrocution, and poisoning pose major threats to Golden Eagles in Sonora.
    • Distribution, status and conservation needs of the white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis (Lagomorpha)

      Brown, David E.; Traphagen, Myles B.; Lorenzo, Consuelo; Gomez-Sapiens, Martha; Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci (INST BIOLOGIA, UNIV NACIONAL AUTONOMA MEXICO, 2018-03-13)
      Although an important game animal and a species of wide distribution, little is known about the natural history of the white-sided jackrabbit (Lepus callotis), its ecological requirements, and limiting factors. The information available suggests that this species may have undergone a reduction in both population numbers and distribution, and may be endangered due to habitat changes. The information presented herein should facilitate proposals for future research, and conservation and management actions.
    • Reinstatement of the Tamaulipas white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus altamirae, based on DNA sequence data

      Vargas, Karla; Brown, David; Wisely, Eldridge; Culver, Melanie; Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm; Univ Arizona, Genet Grad Interdisciplinary Program (INST BIOLOGIA, UNIV NACIONAL AUTONOMA MEXICO, 2019-05-27)
      In 1904, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit (Lepus altamirae) was described as a subspecies of Lepus merriami. In 1909, E. W. Nelson assigned L. altamirae to the white-sided group of jackrabbits, and in 1951, E. R. Hall reclassified it as a subspecies of black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus altamirae). Our comparison of the original 5 specimens of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit in the U.S. National Museum suggested this taxon had a close relationship to the white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis. To validate Nelson's placement of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit within the white-sided group, we conducted phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (MT-CYB). Our analyses of 2 specimens collected in 1898, suggest that L. altamirae is most closely related to Lepus flavigularis, a member of the white-sided group. Therefore, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit warrants taxonomic restoration as a species within the white-sided group of jackrabbits, which also includes L. callotis, L. flavigularis, and Lepus alleni.
    • Salvia palmetorum (Lamiaceae), a new species from Sonora, Mexico

      González-Gallegos, Jesús Guadalupe; Carnahan, Susan D.; Univ Arizona, Herbarium (INST BIOLOGIA, UNIV NACIONAL AUTONOMA MEXICO, 2019-10-03)
      A new Salvia L. species was discovered in the vicinity of San Carlos Bay (Guaymas county) in Sonora, Mexico. The discovery was carried out during botanical explorations for the floristic inventory of the area. The new taxon is described and illustrated. This is an interesting addition to the Flora of Sonora because it constitutes the first Salvia endemic to this state. The species is characterized by an unusual combination of characters within Salvia subg. Calosphace (Benth.) Epling: densely white-tomentulose stems, presence of bracteoles, flowers arranged in thyrses, trimucronate upper calyx lip and ornate connective with an antrorse obtuse tooth. The taxon is also atypical among Mexican Salvia subg. Calosphace in growing in palm groves below 100 m elevation.
    • The role of wild canids in the seed dispersal of Washingtonia robusta (Arecaceae) in Sonoran Desert oases

      Armenta-Mendez, Lucila; Gallo-Reynoso, Juan P.; Wilder, Benjamin T.; Gardea, Alfonso A.; Ortega-Nieblas, Maria M.; Barba-Acuna, Isai; Univ Arizona, Desert Lab Tumamoc Hill (INST BIOLOGIA, UNIV NACIONAL AUTONOMA MEXICO, 2020-04)
      The canids gray fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus and coyote Canis latrans consume the fruits of Mexican fan palm, Washingtonia robusta, endemic to the oases of the Sonoran Desert. We analyzed biotic covariates (consumption, dispersal, and germination of palm seeds and abundance of gray foxes and coyotes) and organic matter in soilsbetween different exposures in Barajitas Canyon, to better understand palm establishment. Mexican fan palm seeds found in feces had a greater germination rate (94%) than those dispersed directly from mother plants (55%). According to the results for palm establishment, the habitat can provide likely locations for successful colonization that did not significantly differ among sampling sites (alpha = 0.05, F = 1.104). The canyon is a dynamic habitat in which the reproductive season of these 2 mammals coincides with palm reproductive phenology. Our data suggest that the consumption and dispersal of W. robusta seeds by gray fox and coyote represent a positive interaction that plays asignificant role in the establishment of this oasis species.