SMALL, AT-RISK AFROTHERIANS ON THE
2008 IUCN REDLIST
Tenrecidae (at least 8 of ca. 33 species are at risk)
Micropotamogale lamottei with bownet used by locals for
fishing. The bownet frequently traps and kills Micropotamogale (photos by P.
Micropotamogale ruwenzorii (photo
by Urs Rahm)
Chrysochloridae (at least 12 of 21 species are at risk)
Macroscelididae (at least 4 of 18 species are at risk)
Small afrotherians possibly at risk of extinction, but without adequate
information for assessment
afrotherians, both small and large, are under threat of extinction.
The species listed here are classified on the IUCN redlist as either
endangered (EN), vulnerable (VU), or near-threatened (NT) by the 2008
IUCN RedList. While some of
the IUCN categories do not necessarily imply imminent extinction, the
trend in many cases is negative. That is, without additional
effort towards conservation on the part of local communities, NGOs,
national and international regulatory agencies, "first world"
consumers, and other relevant parties, these species will eventually
become extinct, many within your lifetime.
In many cases, the causes of extinction are simple: destruction of
natural habitat due to increased exploitation of fossil fuels, timber,
minerals, and expansion of agricultural
zones by humans.
is increasing exponentially
and, in many places, we are consuming per capita an ever increasing
share of the Earth's resources. No one knows exactly what the carrying
capacity of the planet is for any single species.
However, the consequences of exceeding that capacity will
be truly dire, at least for humans.
Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea (home to Micropotamogale
- Namaqualand coastal plain, Succulent Karoo biome, South
Africa (home to Eremitalpa
granti, Cryptochloris wintoni, and Cryptochloris zyli)
Mountains, Rwanda, Congo (home to Micropotamogale
Madagascar (home to Limnogale
National Park, Madagascar (home to many species of Microgale and Limnogale)
- Arabuko-Sokoke Forest,
Kenya (home to Rhynchocyon
Slash and burn
agriculture in an Afrotherian HOTspot: Gedi Ruins "National Park",
Kenya 1972 (photos by G. Rathbun)
- Afromontane coastal forests, South Africa (home to Chrysospalax trevelyani)
- Pretoria, South Africa (home to one of only 3 known populations
of Neamblysomus julianae, and
formerly to Chrysospalax villosus,
now thought to be locally extinct)
- Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa (home to Neamblysomus gunningi)
Mountains, Tanzania (home of R.
GROUPS HELPING TO
PROTECT AFROTHERIAN HABITAT
- The EDGE program
the Zoological Society of London
draws attention to the large number of species that face imminent
extinction, including small afrotherians such as the golden rumped
sengi and Nimba otter shrew.
- The Madagascar Ankizy Fund
was started by a paleontological team from Stony Brook
University to improve access to health care and
education facilities for villagers in remote areas of Madagascar. A
healthy and educated local human population will, in the long term,
benefit the Malagasy fauna (including afrotherians such as the
- A Rocha Kenya aims to
achieve long-term conservation of threatened habitats and species in
the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.
- The Tanzania Forest Conservation
Group (TFCG) is actively supporting the conservation of Tanzania's
coastal and Eastern Arc forests through a combination of protected area
management, community development, environmental education, advocacy
and research. With over 20 years experience, TFCG is Tanzania's
leading national non-governmental organization addressing the
conservation of Tanzania's high biodiversity forests (including a focus
on coastal forests).
- WWF Tanzania's coastal forest
programme is supporting the conservation of forests along Tanzania's
coastal zone. WWF is active in Muheza, Rufiji and Kilwa
Districts. WWF TPO is also supporting the conservation of the
Udzungwa Mountains National Park in the Eastern Arc Mountains. WWF -
East African Regional Programme Office supports an ecoregion programme
addressing the conservation of the East African coastal forests. The
programme links initiatives in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.
- Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
provides strategic assistance to civil society organizations to help
safeguard Earth's biodiversity hotspots, the biologically richest and
most threatened areas. CEPF has invested US$ 7 million in the
conservation of the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Kenya and
- Tanzania Natural Resources Forum
is a collective civil society-based initiative to improve natural
resource management in Tanzania by addressing fundamental issues of
natural resource governance.
- TRAFFIC South / Eastern Africa
actively monitors and investigates wildlife and endangered species
trade and provides information gathered as a basis for effective
conservation policies and actions. TRAFFIC have played an
important role in highlighting governance shortfalls in the Tanzanian
Forestry sector by providing detailed information on the scale of
illegal logging in Tanzania's coastal forests. This information
has stimulated renewed efforts to improve the governance of Tanzania's
- The Mpingo
Conservation Project aims to conserve endangered forests in
East Africa by promoting sustainable and socially equitable harvesting
of mpingo and other valuable timber stocks. The Mpingo
Conservation Project is active in Kilwa District in Tanzania.
- The Eastern Arc Mountains
Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF) is a Trust Fund that was
established as a mechanism to provide for long term, reliable and
sustainable funding support to biodiversity conservation in the Eastern
Arc Mountains of Tanzania.
GROUPS OF GENERAL INTEREST
R. Asher, G. Rathbun, N. Doggart,