Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Macroscelidea Macroscelididae

Scientific Name: Elephantulus brachyrhynchus
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1836)
Common Name(s):
English Short-snouted Sengi, Short-snouted Elephant-shrew
Macroscelides brachyrhynchus A. Smith, 1836
Taxonomic Source(s): Corbet, G.B. and Hanks, J. 1968. A revision of the elephant-shrews, family Macroscelididae. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 16: 1-111.
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 19 living species recognized in four genera. The soft-furred sengis or elephant-shrews include three genera:  Petrodromus is monospecific, Macroscelides has three species, and 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 and for additional information.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-11-29
Assessor(s): Rathbun, G.B.
Reviewer(s): Taylor, A.
Contributor(s): Stuart, C., Perrin, M., FitzGibbon, C., Griffin, M. & Smit-Robinson, H.
The Short-snouted Sengi 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 are 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2006 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

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 the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In East Africa, found in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; 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, including in fallow agricultural lands. Also inhabits grazed lands.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in grassland and savanna woodlands, but only one detailed study has been completed that addresses the use of agricultural lands in southern Africa (Yarnell et al. 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in protected areas, but these have not been documented within the distribution of this species.

Citation: Rathbun, G.B. 2015. Elephantulus brachyrhynchus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T42658A21288656. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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