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Andean non-volant small mammals: a dataset of community assemblages of non-volant small mammals from the high Andes

Cite this dataset

Rengifo, Edgardo M. et al. (2022). Andean non-volant small mammals: a dataset of community assemblages of non-volant small mammals from the high Andes [Dataset]. Dryad.


Information from diversity inventories is used to study patterns of biodiversity and species distribution; likewise, it may be useful to identify priority areas for conservation, and to guide future sampling efforts. In this context, we compiled information on non-volant small mammal communities from the high Andes (> 2,000 m.). Here we present an open resource data set containing information diversity (species composition, number of individuals captured ), inventory design (type of traps, sampling efforts), and environment (habitat) for both unpublished and published information. This study covers 630 mammalian communities, geographically distributed throughout the Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. We compiled a total of 26,412 individual records belonging to 240 species; the order with greatest number of records was Rodentia (n=25,319, 96.06%), followed by Didelphimorphia (n=373, 1.42%), Eulipotyphla (n=358, 1.36%) and Paucituberculata, (n=307, 1.16%). Andean non-volant small mammal communities harbor a range of 1-17 species, with 93.06 % of sites being composed of one to five species, 27.78% of sites ranging in richness from six to ten species, and 4.17% are composed by more than ten species. Multiple sampling methods were used to survey non-volant small mammals; the most representative methods being the use of snap-traps and Sherman traps, or a combination of both, in more than 81% of the studies. The Andean Non-Volant Small Mammals Data Paper represents the first large dataset of faunal species inventories for Andes. There are no copyright restrictions associated with the use of this data set. Please cite this Data Paper when its data are used total or partially in research or teaching.


Site description: The target area comprises the Andes region of South America; we included areas mainly over 2,000 m of altitude, extending across 22 terrestrial ecoregions (Dinerstein et al. 2017) from western Venezuela to central western Argentina, through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. In terms of biodiversity, the Andes has greater species richness than other tropical mountain range in the world (Hughes and Eastwood 2006). Moreover, it includes many endemic species, both in vertebrate and plant species (Cracraft 1985, Myers et al. 2000, do Prado et al. 2015). This region is tremendously important for the provision of ecosystem services: more than 50 million people live in or near of the Andes, and they benefit by water provision (not only in the Andes, but the western portion of the Amazon Basin is formed by tributaries whose headwaters are located in Andes), carbon sequestration, food, medicinal plants, and constructions materials (Borgtoft et al. 1998, Cincotta et al. 2000, Báez et al. 2008, Thomas et al. 2011). Therefore, the conservation of Andean habitats and their biodiversity is an important challenge.

 Data compilation: This is a collaboration among several researchers, who had organized raw data from unpublished and published information on small non-volant mammalian assemblages geographically distributed throughout the Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. In total we obtained information from 119 sources, including papers, theses and dissertations, technical reports, book chapters, and personal unpublished data. We searched the literature on Google Scholar following keywords in English (and Spanish): Andean, Andes, inventory (inventario), small mammals (pequeños mamíferos or micromamíferos), rodents (roedores), pitfall, Sherman, Tomahawk. Also, we used the cited bibliography in documents to find additional sources.

Research Methods: The focus of our data-paper is the high Andean Region, and we delineated this boundary considering as a selection criterion the elevation of 2,000 meters, following Duellman (1979), who found the “Porculla Abra” (Porculla Pass)  as the lowest point of the Andes in Perú at 2,145 meters. Therefore, only studies carried out above this threshold were selected. All studies that report sampling of small mammal species, survey design and methods, strata sampled, sampling effort, type of traps, and number of captures were included in the Andean Non-Volant Small Mammals data set. Geographical information included specific locality, province/department, and country; altitude and longitude coordinates are in decimal degrees. As non-volant small mammals we considered species mainly under 1,000 g represented by the orders Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, Eulipotyphla, and Rodentia (Gardner 2008, Patton et al. 2015), additionally were included species of the genera Didelphis, Cavia, Microcavia, and Galea. in the same way, we added to our dataset, non-small mammals that were captured occasionally, as Coendou quichua, Lagidium viscacia, Mustela frenata, Sylvilagus andinus, and Notosciurus granatensis. Missing information was labeled as “N/A”. Small mammal information were compiled from literature (Pearson 1951, Dorst 1971, Pearson and Pearson 1978, Pizzimenti and de Salle 1981, Aagaard 1983, Simonetti et al. 1985, Reise and Venegas 1987, Zuñiga et al. 1988, Soriano et al. 1990, Leo and Romo 1992, Díaz de Pascual 1993, LópezArévalo et al. 1993, Yensen and Tarifa 1993, Arana-Cardó and Ascorra 1994, Durant and Diaz 1995, Gómez-Cervero 1996, Anderson 1997, Bonaventura et al. 1998, Barnett 1999, Jaksic et al. 1999, Castro and Román 2000, Solari et al. 2001, Voss 2003, Gómez 2004, Sánchez et al. 2004, Valencia et al. 2004, Pozo and Trujillo 2005, Haynie et al. 2006, Lee et al. 2006, Vivar 2006, Borghi and Giannoni 2007, Corredor-Carrillo 2007, Pacheco et al. 2007, Rodríguez et al. 2007, Tarifa et al. 2007, Vargas et al. 2007, Jayat et al. 2008, Ferro and Barquez 2008, Lee et al. 2008, Corrales and López 2009, Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca - CAR 2009, Martínez et al. 2009, Montañez 2009, Prado and Bonilla 2009, Ramírez-Chaves et al. 2009, Tirira and Boada 2009, Castaño and Corrales 2010, Jayat et al. 2010, Zevallos and Carrera 2010, Jayat et al. 2011, Lee et al. 2011, Medina et al. 2012, Péfaur et al. 2012, Viancha et al. 2012, Jayat et al. 2013, Pacheco et al. 2013, Teta et al. 2013, Ferro and Barquez 2014, Mendoza and Sánchez 2014, Novillo and Ojeda 2014, Latorre and Arévalo 2015, Lee et al. 2015, Valladares et al. 2015, Brito and Ojala-Barbour 2016, Lobos and Alzamora 2016, Medina et al. 2016, Cairampoma 2017, Ferández de Córdova et al. 2017, Jayat et al. 2017, Medina et al. 2017, Jayat et al. 2018, Vargas-Ramírez et al. 2018, Bautista et al. 2018, Díaz-Beltran and Ladino-Moreno 2018, Lee et al. 2018, Vargas et al 2018, Beninato et al. 2019, Curay et al. 2019, Ojala-Barbour et al. 2019, Pacheco and Noblecilla 2019, Villarreal 2019, Storz et al. 2020, Lee et al. 2021, Urquizo et al 2021), and our own unpublished data.

Validation: Taxonomic identity was checked by our team, and the nomenclature is based on Gardner (2008) for the orders Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, and Eulipotyphla, and Patton et al. (2015), for the order Rodentia. However, we updated taxonomic nomenclature following recent published studies (Pacheco et al. 2014, Hanson et al. 2015, Rengifo and Pacheco 2015, Jimenez and Pacheco 2016, Quiroga-Carmona and Do Nascimiento 2016, Teta et al. 2017, Hurtado and D’Elía 2018, Brito et al. 2019, Noguera-Urbano et al. 2019, Voss et al. 2020, Hurtado 2021, Jayat et al. 2021). The taxonomic uncertainties were maintained using an open nomenclature.


Beca de Doctorado en el extranjero FONDECYT (Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico, Tecnológico y de Innovación Tecnológica), CONCYTEC, Peru, Award: 127-2017

PROEX - Programa de Excelência Acadêmica da CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), Brazil

American Society of Mammalogists

Bolsa de Produtividade – Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico , Brasil, Award: 304156/2019-1

Proyecto PICT 2012-0050 del FONCYT. Proyecto FICyT 2013-2014 de la UNdeC

Fondos del canon, sobrecanon y regalías mineras 2017-II de la Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Ghromann

National Geographic Society, Award: GRANT #W31-08

FONAG- Fondo para la protección del Agua- Beca de la ECAP , Award: E802020102F

Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo, Award: 1180366

National Geographic Society, Award: Grant NGS-68495R-20