Updated Global Mammal Checklist – June 2019

Yes, its the most wonderful time of year once again. My bike had an argument with a New York pot hole 2 weeks ago and  I fractured three ribs. And that meant no weekend in North Dakota.  Instead I spent the time feeling sorry for myself and updating my global mammal checklist with the latest IUCN redlist data. My last update was a year ago.

There have been quite a lot of changes and they are all listed in the worksheet “Changes Over Time”: scroll down to the heading “changes since version 6 (at June 2019)” to see the full list.

The IUCN have been busy adding species, including a lot of (fairly obscure) rodents. Perhaps the most notable changes – at least in how they might relate to people’s own lifelists – are:

  1. IUCN have revised the Saki Monkeys to include a bunch of new species following this paper  Marsh, L.K. 2014. A taxonomic revision of the saki monkeys, Pithecia Desmarest, 1804. Neotropical Primates 21(1): 1-163
  2. The Four-striped Grass Mice (aka Zebra Mice) of Africa – Rhabdomys pumilus – have been split 4 ways. Three species in South Africa and one in East Africa. So, for example, the species around Kimberley is now R. bechuanae, while that in West Coast National Park is R. pumilus. That was my only new mammal from the IUCN’s changes

I have also added a few species that I noticed in various papers and fieldguides, and which the IUCN has yet to recognise, including:

Quenda, Isoodon fusciventer

Selangor Silvered Langur, Trachypithecus selangorensis

Nicaraguan Deer Mouse, Peromyscus nicaraguae

Fremont’s Squirrel, Tamiasciurus fremonti

Mogollon Vole, Microtus mogollonensis

Northern Mountain Viscacha, Lagidium peruanum

Japanese Racoon Dog, Nyctereutes viverrinus

Mediterranean Hare, Lepus mediterrananeus

These are  all species I have seen so I have a bit of an interest in making sure they existg.! I suspect some of them are be a bit dodgy – eg Japanese Racoon Dog.  I welcome people’s opinions on any that are so very dodgy they should be deleted.

All of the deviations between the redlist and my list are listed in the worksheet “Divergences from the IUCN list”. But really there is very little difference – just 70 species or so.

Thank you also to a few people who took the time to send in corrections, additions and deletions to the list since the last time, including Paul Carter. All mistakes are my own (or the IUCN’s).

Global Mammal Checklist

17 Comments
  1. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    The saki paper is total BS.

  2. Profile photo of tomeslice
    tomeslice 4 weeks ago

    Completely regardless of the mammal checklist update (for which I have no opinion) – feel better man! At your age it’s not trivial to be able to recover from this kind of an injury ;-P
    I’m totally kidding, obviously, about the second part of the sentence.

    Looking forward to meeting up again in the future in search of some cool mammals!
    Cheers,
    Tomer

    • Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
      Jon Hall 4 weeks ago

      Ha. Thanks. Yes hope to see you too. We can look for mammals while I moan about the state of my knees.

      • Profile photo of tomeslice
        tomeslice 4 weeks ago

        Haha!
        Good thing you’re not coming with us to Tawau… From the way people have been talking about it, it sounds harder than climbing Mt. Everest! I will have to give a full udpate about how difficult it really is 🙂
        (and on that note – I’m really excited – just 3 months away from the longest and most intense mammal watching trip I’ve ever taken!)

        • Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
          Jon Hall 4 weeks ago

          Looking forward to feeling jealous from your report. How long is the trip?

          • Profile photo of tomeslice
            tomeslice 4 weeks ago

            It’s 19 nights full-on mammal watching with the group, split between Tawau, Kinabatang, Danum Valley, Deramakot (10 nights!) and Mt. Kinabalu.
            I’m going to be getting to Tawau a night early, so that’s 20 nights altogehter, and at the end of the trip I have 3 more nights in Singapore.

            So it can turn into 23 nights of mammal watching. But in Singapore I’m planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. But I do want to try to look for the pangolin that 3 people have already seen in the exact same place, and some otters which should be feasible, I suppose.

  3. Venkat Sankar 4 weeks ago

    Jon, I think you’ve graduated to a new level of mammal watcher. When you can’t be in the field, you’re scouring the scientific literature for potential splits to add to your list :p

    Seriously though, I don’t buy the saki paper either. Their methods were entirely just morphological comparisons, which have proven inadequate to define species on their own time and again. We need some genetics, or data from intergrade zones.

    If we standardized this paper’s methodology to all mammals, there would probably be 10,000 Peromyscus…

    • Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
      Jon Hall 4 weeks ago

      Ha ha – if I can’t get to the new mammmals, then they will have to come to me. This morning I have managed to persuade myself that I must have seen a Goeldi’s Monkey in 2007 at Palmari Reserve in the western Amazon. I saw a small Tamarin-like monkey with an all black face that I didn’t ID at the time. OK, so if the Saki paper is no good, what is the correct Saki taxonomy do you think?

      • Venkat Sankar 4 weeks ago

        Jon, I noticed that sighting when I read that report some time ago and wondered if it might be a Goeldi’s too… The description does fit well, as you say and they hang around tamarin troops usually.

        This passage really captures my issue with the paper: “Since the designation of subspecies is vague and has been assigned in many cases arbitrarily to describe the diversity of Neotropical primates, I have elected to elevate all Pithecia to full species status until evidence is provided to delineate them further.” I think the author has abandoned the concept of subspecies, ecotype etc. to essentially assign every geographical and color morph found over the last 150 years as species…

        I’d say just keep the old taxonomy of monachus, aequatorialis, irrorata, pithecia, etc until someone comes up with something better that is supported by more lines of evidence beyond just “it looks a bit different and some rivers separate it.”

  4. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    I have just 5 saki species in my checklist: aequatorialis, albicans, irrorata (syn. vanzolinii, mittermeieri, rylandsi, pissinattii), monachus (syn. milleri), and pithecia (syn. chrysocephala). Everything else is vanity and vexation of spirit.

  5. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    Also, has Lepus mediterraneus split proposal been published? I can’t find anything. It is a subspecies of L. europaeus which itself is a recent offshoot of L. capensis complex, so I’ll be very surprised if it’s valid.

  6. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    BTW, there was a conference talk yesterday presenting conclusive data on island fox not being a valid species. They also found the Yukatan subspecies to be deeply divergent and probably deserving a species status.

  7. Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
    Jon Hall 4 weeks ago

    thanks Vladamir and Venkat – you will be pleased to learn I have gone back to a 5 Saki universe .. with tears in my eyes as I lose 4 species … and have listed the others as subspecies. Lepus meditarraneus is included in a new book on the mammals of morocco that is in French. This paper is given as a reference for that species being included… too complicated for me to understand but page 318 seems to have a relevant sentence at least. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6474017_Mitochondrial_CR-1_Variation_in_Sardinian_Hares_and_Its_Relationships_with_Other_Old_World_Hares_Genus_Lepus

  8. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    That’s way too premature. Hares are currently the most complex problem in mammalian phylogenetics, it is already known that mtDNA-based approaches don’t work, and it’s going to be a while until things are sorted out, if ever. For now the only thing you can be certain about is that L. europaeus, L. tolai (a. k. a. “Asian L. capensis”), and L. macrotis (of NW Africa) are not conspecific with L. capensis sensu stricto. Here’s the best recent paper; note that mtDNA tree makes no sense whatsoever. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41437-019-0229-8.pdf?origin=ppub

  9. Vladimir Dinets 4 weeks ago

    BTW, note that L. coreanus is a subspecies of L. mandshuricus: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790318304834

  10. Profile photo of Vladimir Dinets
    Vladimir Dinets 2 weeks ago

    Here’s an update on birch mice: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10914-017-9409-6
    Valid species are Sicista caudata, S. concolor (=leathemi=weigoldi), S. tianshanica, S. zhetysuica, S. caucasica, S. kluchorica, S. kazbegica, S. armenica, S. napaea (=tschingistauca), S. pseudonapaea, S. betulina (=montana=norvegica=taigica=strandi), S. subtilis (=severtzovi=cimlanica=sibirica=vaga), S. trizona (=transylvanica), and S. loriger. There are probably a few undescribed species in China.

  11. Vladimir Dinets 1 week ago

    A distinctive new Apodemus has just been described from China: sci-hub.tw/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz032

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