Conservation status

Of the species recognized by Gardner in 1993, three (Gra-cilinanus aceramarcae, Marmosa andersoni, and Marmosops han-dleyi) are considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and three other species (Marmosa xerophila, Marmosops cracens, and Monodelphis kunsi) are considered Endangered. All three Crit ically Endangered species have extremely restricted distributions, limited to one or two localities in Bolivia or Colombia. Although none of these species face direct threats from humans, all are facing rampant habitat destruction that has strong negative conservation implications. The three Endangered species face the same threats of habitat destruction and restricted distributions in Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil, albeit slightly larger than the Critically Endangered species. Fifteen additional species are considered Vulnerable, 18 more are under the category of Lower Risk/Least Concern, and two are Data Deficient. There are 20 species that have not been ranked by the IUCN. Undoubtedly other species are facing conservation threats, especially those with restricted distributions and found in habitats affected by high rates of deforestation, but much more information is necessary to correctly assess their status.

In Mexico, two species, the water opossum and the woolly opossum, are included in the list of species at risk as endangered. These two species are considered sensitive to habitat disruption and their populations have been severely decreased as a result of deforestation and water pollution by discharge of fertilizers and pesticides.

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