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Atelerix algirus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA EULIPOTYPHLA ERINACEIDAE

Scientific Name: Atelerix algirus
Species Authority: (Lereboullet, 1842)
Common Name(s):
English Algerian Hedgehog, North African Hedgehog
French Hérisson D'Algérie
Spanish Erizo Moruno

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
There are no specific population data available for this species; in general hedgehogs are declining across the region but population trends or decline rates are not known for A. algirus. The species' range is larger than the thresholds set for criterion B. It is generally a rare species (but it is also difficult to find, so may be more common than currently known) and it has a fragmented range. Currently, it is assessed as Least Concern because it does not meet the range thresholds and there is no evidence of population declines. However, the status of this species should be monitored and more data gathered; if there is evidence of declines in population or range in the future, a reassessment will be necessary and uplisting may be warranted.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Atelerix algirus is endemic to the Mediterranean region, occurring across North Africa from Morocco to Libya, in Spain, and on a number of islands including the Canary Islands, Djerba, Malta, Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera. It was formerly introduced to France, but is now extinct there. Its occurrence in continental Europe and on many of the islands within its range may be the result of introductions by man (Lapini 1999). It typically occurs at altitudes of 0 to 400 m, although it can reach altitudes of 900 m in Morocco (Lapini 1999). The exact dates of introductions into many of the Mediterranean Islands are not known, but it is known that the species was introduced onto the Canary Islands in the 1890s (Hutterer 1983, R. Hutterer pers. comm. 2007).
Countries:
Native:
Algeria; Libya; Malta; Morocco; Spain; Tunisia
Regionally extinct:
France
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is difficult to record because of its nocturnal habits, therefore there are insufficient data available to be able to estimates population densities (R. Hutterer pers. comm. 2007). However, in general hedgehog populations are decreasing across Mediterranean (N. Yigit pers. comm. 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A. algirus found in a range of habitats including semi-desert, dry Mediterranean scrub, grasslands, pastures, cultivated fields, and gardens, sometimes in close proximity to human habitation. It is most often found in arid areas (Lapini 1999, Palomo and Gisbert 2002), and forages at night for arthropods, small vertebrates, carrion, and fungi.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Algerian Hedgehog is locally eaten across the region and in Morocco it is sold in local markets for medicinal purposes (R. Hutterer pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include accidental mortality on roads (roadkill). Populations may be limited by the availability of suitable habitat (Palomo and Gisbert 2002). The species is sometimes taken from the wild to be kept as a pet (Palomo and Gisbert 2002). It is also locally caught and eaten across the Mediterranean region. In Morocco it is used locally for medical purposes and appears in local witchcraft markets (R. Hutterer pers. comm. 2007). Increasing numbers of roads and habitat loss are the most serious threats to the species, although it is unlikely they are major threats at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention, and on Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive. Surveys and monitoring are required to determine population trends in this rare species. If any evidence of declines is indicated, action should be taken to protect the species. Further research is necessary to determine appropriate conservation measures.

Citation: Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J. 2008. Atelerix algirus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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