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Dendrohyrax validus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA HYRACOIDEA PROCAVIIDAE

Scientific Name: Dendrohyrax validus
Species Authority: True, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Tree Hyrax
Taxonomic Notes: Shoshani (2005) included Dendrohyrax validus as a synonym of Dendrohyrax arboreus. The validity of D. validus has been questioned by some authors (e.g., Bothma 1971), but has been retained as distinct by others (Meester et al. 1986, Schlitter 1993, Roberts et al. in press), which is the treatment followed here.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hoeck, H. & Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its presumed large population and local abundance, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. However, the species is evidently very susceptible to logging, as well as hunting, and the situation needs to be closely monitored to determine if this species should be re-assessed to Near Threatened in the future, based on decline under criterion A.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a restricted and patchy geographic range, being limited to montane forests on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru, the Eastern Arc Mountains, and coastal forests of Tanzania, southern Kenya and offshore islands, including Pemba, Zanzibar and Tumbatu (Roberts et al. in press).
Countries:
Native:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally abundant. They are rarely seen, but can frequently be heard calling. Based on Circular Plot Counts of calls, densities of up to 17 individuals/ha have been estimated in undisturbed, closed-canopy forest on the Udzungwa Mts (Topp-Jørgensen and Pedersen 2001).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in moist lowland and montane forest, from sea level to 3,070 m (Roberts et al. in press). The species appears to be susceptible to habitat disturbance. In the Udzungwa Mts, logging has a significant impact on population numbers, especially where hunting also occurs (Topp-Jørgensen and Pedersen 2001). In disturbed forests, individuals call less frequently. Overall, high population densities (i.e., based on calling frequency) appear to be linked to isolated, undisturbed forest patches. This would agree with the findings of Kundaeli (1976) on Mt Kilimanjaro: highest densities were estimated at an elevation of 2,310 m, where disturbance from logging was low.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to this species are severe forest loss and fragmentation (mainly due to logging and burning), and hunting. Although individuals can persist in closed-canopy forests of less than one square kilometre, logging, including selective logging of large trees, removes potential shelter trees, destroys arboreal pathways and makes animals more vulnerable and prone to ground trapping (Roberts et al. in press). Eastern Tree Hyraxes are hunted for their meat and skins (to make blankets or karosses, which can still be found for sale in Arusha), and easily trapped using snares set at the head of runnels (pathways through the undergrowth) near the base of a tree. They may also be clubbed, speared, or run down by dogs having been ‘smoked out’ or following the felling of a den tree (a common method employed in the Udzungwa Mts) (Topp-Jørgensen and Pedersen 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in a number of protected areas across its range, including Udzungwa Mts and Kilimanjaro National Parks, Arusha National Park and several forest reserves in the Eastern Arc Mts of Tanzania, such as Kindoroko and Nguru North Forest Reserves (see Cordeiro et al. 2005; Roberts et al. in press). The taxonomic status of this species relative to D. arboreus requires further investigation.

Citation: Hoeck, H. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Dendrohyrax validus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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