Elephantulus rufescens


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Elephantulus rufescens
Species Authority: (Peters, 1878)
Common Name(s):
English Rufous Sengi, Rufous 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): FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M. & Stuart, C. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group)
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
The species is widespread and can be locally abundant. Although it tends to inhabit arid habitats, some of the denser woodland areas, especially when near sources of water for irrigation are significantly altered by agricultural activities of people. Overall, however, most of the habitats occupied by this species are probably not threatened by the activities of people because they are too arid. Livestock grazing may also have negative impacts on habitats used by this species, but it is not likely that these are widespread or serious at this time. Populations may vary through time, mostly because of natural variations in environmental conditions associated with arid habitats. The species is listed as Least Concern.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern Africa, where it is found from southern and eastern Ethiopia, Kenya, eastern Uganda, southern Sudan, north, central, and western Tanzania, through Somalia (Corbet and Hanks 1968).
Ethiopia; Kenya; Somalia; South Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally, numbers can be relatively large within the constraints of being monogamous (Rathbun 1979).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Dry woodlands and steppe areas (Corbet and Hanks 1968; Kingdon 1974).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in protected areas.

Citation: FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M. & Stuart, C. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) 2008. Elephantulus rufescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 May 2015.
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