Atopogale cubana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Eulipotyphla Solenodontidae

Scientific Name: Atopogale cubana (Peters, 1861)
Common Name(s):
English Cuban Solenodon
Spanish Almiqui
Atopogale cubanus (Peters, 1861) [orth. error]
Solenodon cubanus Peters, 1861
Taxonomic Source(s): Roca, A.L., Bar-Gal, G.K., Eizirik, E., Helgen, K.M., Maria, R., Springer, M.S., O’Brien, S.J. and Murphy, W.J. 2004. Mesozoic origin for West Indian insectivores. Nature 429: 649-651.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2015-11-20
Assessor(s): Kennerley, R., Turvey, S.T. & Young, R.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Mancina, C., Soy, J., Borotto-Páez, R. & Echenique-diaz, L.
Cuban Solenodon (Atopogale cubana) is assessed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is estimated at 3,280 km², all individuals are in a single location, where there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat because of predation by introduced predators and habitat loss because of deforestation and mining.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only known from eastern Cuba. However, remains have been found from Late Quaternary and Amerindian sites all over the island (Varona 1980, Hutterer 2005, Silva Taboada et al. 2007, Borroto-Páez and Begue Quiala 2011). Today only two populations are known: in the PN Pico Cristal and PN Alejandro de Humboldt, at elevations of 400-800 m asl in the PN Alejandro de Humboldt (Borroto-Páez and Beque Quiala 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):400
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A number of specimens and signs of the species were observed during the 20th century, but by 1970 some believed that the Cuban Solenodon had become extinct. However, individuals have been captured at a number of different sites, including recently in 2012 and 2013 when seven individuals were captured in the Toldo Plateau area of Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (L. Echenique-diaz pers. comm. 2017).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Cuban Solenodon is found in dense, humid forests and brush country, in montane and submontane primary forest. Solenodon obtain food by rooting in the ground using its foreclaws and then using its snout, and in leaf litter with their snouts and by tearing into rotten logs and trees with their foreclaws. Myriapod, earthworm, insects and their larvae, spiders, molluscs, and small vertebrates as lizard and frogs, form most of its diet (Manójina and Abreu 2012). This species is mainly nocturnal, hiding during the day in rock clefts, hollow trees, or burrows which it excavates itself above the leaf litter (Borroto-Páez and Beque Quiala 2011). Adult Cuban Solenodons are solitary, other than mothers with young. Litter size is 1-2 young. The young are born in a nesting burrow. Young remain with their mother for several months (Varona 1980, Borroto-Páez and Beque Quiala 2011). It has also been reported from forest-agricultural mosaic habitat outside protected areas in Pinares de Mayarí (Holguin Province), suggesting that it may have a wider environmental tolerance than previously assumed (Museo Tomás Romay, BIOECO, Santiago de Cuba, pers. comm).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Cuban Solenodon is not hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Feral dogs have been known to predate the species. It is also thought that cats may be a threat because they are able to enter their den sites, and the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) is abundant in the areas around Solenodon borrows (Borroto-Páez 2009, Borroto-Páez and Beque Quiala 2011, Borroto-Páez and Woods 2012, Borroto-Páez 2013). Mongoose have been invading buffer zones of the PN Alejandro de Humboldt in recent years (Borroto-Páez and Beque Quiala 2011). In addition to predation by introduced species, habitat loss by deforestation and mining is also a factor contributing to the Solenodon’s rarity (Borroto-Paez and Beque Quiala 2012, Borroto-Páez et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been recorded from Pico Cristal and Alexander Humboldt National Parks, and Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve (Borroto-Páez et al. 2012).

Citation: Kennerley, R., Turvey, S.T. & Young, R. 2018. Atopogale cubana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T20320A22327125. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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