Tuesday 21 May
Eastern puna mouse (Punomys kofordi)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Eastern puna mouse fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Eastern puna mouse description
A stocky, vole-like rodent, the eastern puna mouse (Punomys kofordi) takes its scientific name from the American naturalist and conservationist Dr Karl B. Kofordi (2) (3). Its common name is derived from the puna grassland region it inhabits in the eastern Andes, where it is unusual in being one of the only mammals that is found entirely at such high elevations (2).
The long, soft, loose fur of the eastern puna mouse is generally dull buffy-brown or greyish-brown on the upperparts, and white or greyish on the underparts, with a buffy wash. The tail is usually dusky above and white below, and the hands and feet are dusky on the top and black below, with small claws (2).Top
Eastern puna mouse biology
A small, agile species, the eastern puna mouse feeds primarily on plants, particularly Senecio adenophylloides and Werneria digitata. It is a remarkably dextrous rodent, able to manipulate and cut twigs as long as 50 centimetres with its stout incisors. The eastern puna mouse usually stores the cut twigs in a cache under a rock, sometimes storing as many as 30 twigs in one cache (2).
The eastern puna mouse is active during the day, when it will scurry from place to place in the shelter of rocks. This species is thought to breed during the dry season, possibly between June and September (2).Top
Eastern puna mouse range
The eastern puna mouse is restricted to the Cordillera Carabaya region of the eastern Andes in southern Peru. It is generally found between elevations of 4,500 to 4,800 metres (1) (4), although it is sometimes recorded at lower elevations of around 3,200 metres (2).Top
Eastern puna mouse habitat
Found only in the moist habitats of the puna grassland in Peru, the eastern puna mouse generally inhabits barren, rocky areas, particularly where plants of the genus Senecio are abundant (1) (2). It may also be found in areas of traditional pasture (1).Top
Eastern puna mouse status
The eastern puna mouse is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Eastern puna mouse threats
The eastern puna mouse has a very restricted distribution and has been recorded in only five locations. Although there are currently no major threats to the eastern puna mouse, its limited range means that it is vulnerable to changes in its habitat, such as the drainage of suitable wet areas (1).
Climate change is also a potential threat to this species, due to its restricted elevational range. Climate change may cause some areas of currently suitable habitat to be lost as conditions change, which may threaten the small population of the eastern puna mouse if it is unable to adapt quickly enough (1).Top
Eastern puna mouse conservation
The eastern puna mouse is not known from any protected areas. This species would greatly benefit from further research into its habitat, ecology and threats (1).Top
Find out more
Find out more about conservation in Peru:
The Nature Conservancy:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- The front or cutting teeth.
- Puna grassland
- A region of montane grassland and shrubland found above the treeline and below the permanent snowline in the central Andes Mountains of South America.
IUCN Red List (April, 2011)
- Nowak, R.M. (1991) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
- Beolens, B., Watkins, M. and Grayson, M. (2009) The eponym dictionary of mammals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. (2005) Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, Volume 1. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.