Elephantulus fuscus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Macroscelidea Macroscelididae

Scientific Name: Elephantulus fuscus (Peters, 1852)
Common Name(s):
English Dusky Sengi, Dusky Elephant-shrew
Macroscelides fuscus Peters, 1852
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.

Corbet (1971) raised this taxon from a subspecies of Elephantulus brachyrhynchus to a full species: E. fuscus.

See the Afrotheria Specialist Group web site and for additional information.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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.

There are 22 documented locations (some may have more than one specimens) - nine from southern Malawi, 12 from southern Mozambique, and one from southern Zimbabwe. One specimen dates from about 2005, the rest pre-date 1968. Habitat seems to be savanna or woodland, but nothing else is known. The locations fall within a polygon that is about 146,000 km2.  Based only on the size of this area, one could guess that it is not Near Threatened, and perhaps Least Concern. However, Malawi and much of Zimbabwe are densely populated by people, and it may be that suitable habitat has been greatly reduced given the lack of recent records. Even though the area is in southern Africa, with a well-developed research community, oddly, almost nothing is know about this species. Data are insufficient to allow an informed assessment, thus a Data Deficient assignment.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Relatively restricted distribution in southern Zambia and Malawi, and southwestern Mozambique (Corbet and Hanks 1968, Corbet 1971, Rathbun 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information on the population status of this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in savanna grassland with scattered trees and bushes (Skinner and Chimimba 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species are not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in protected areas, but these have not been documented.

Citation: Rathbun, G.B. 2015. Elephantulus fuscus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T42660A21288491. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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