Elephantulus brachyrhynchus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Elephantulus brachyrhynchus
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1836)
Common Name(s):
English Short-snouted Sengi, Short-snouted Elephant-shrew
Taxonomic Notes:

In the past the single family was included in the order Insectivora, but now the family is in the monophyletic order Macroscelidea and the newly created super-cohort Afrotheria. Currently, there are 17 living species recognized in four genera. The soft-furred sengis or elephant-shrews include three genera: Macroscelides and Petrodromus are each monospecific, while Elephantulus contains 11 species. The four species of giant sengis belong to the genus Rhynchocyon. The common name "sengi" is being used in place of elephant-shrew by many biologists to try and disassociate the Macroscelidea from the true shrews (family Soricidae) in the order Soricomorpha. See the Afrotheria Specialist Group web site for additional information.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Stuart, C., Perrin, M., FitzGibbon, C., Griffin, M. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) & Smit, H. (Stellenbosch University)
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
The species is listed as Least Concern. Although this species is not abundant, it is widespread in suitable habitats over an immense area of Africa. Because it occupies habitats that are arid that will not support many types of human development there is no known major threats to this species or its habitats. Although there are no specific data available on population trends, there is no reason to believe that numbers are increasing or decreasing significantly due to any factors other than natural variation in environmental conditions in the relatively arid habitats that this species occupies. It is possible that desertification and bush encroachment due to various anthropogenic factors might impact this species, but without specific data this is speculation.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The most wide-spread species of sengi. The species is found from northern South Africa through northeast Namibia, east and central Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique north to Democratic Republic of Congo. In East Africa, found in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread, but only locally common.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Steppe and savanna woodlands.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in protected areas.

Citation: Stuart, C., Perrin, M., FitzGibbon, C., Griffin, M. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) & Smit, H. (Stellenbosch University) 2008. Elephantulus brachyrhynchus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 24 May 2015.
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