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Review of the status and conservation of tenrecs (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Tenrecidae)

  • P. J. Stephenson (a1), Voahangy Soarimalala (a2), Steven M. Goodman (a2), Martin E. Nicoll (a3), Vonjy Andrianjakarivelo (a4), Kathryn M. Everson (a5), Michael Hoffmann (a6), Paulina D. Jenkins (a7), Link E. Olson (a5), Martin Raheriarisena (a8), Felix Rakotondraparany (a8), Daniel Rakotondravony (a8), Vololomboahangy Randrianjafy (a9), Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana (a10) and Andrew Taylor (a11)...

Abstract

The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail stephensonpj@gmail.com

Footnotes

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Also at: Science & Knowledge Unit, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland

Also at: Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l'Environnement, Université de Fianarantsoa, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

Also at: Integrative Research Center, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Footnotes

References

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