Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Nesomyidae

Scientific Name: Cricetomys gambianus
Species Authority: Waterhouse, 1840
Common Name(s):
English Gambian Rat, Northern Giant Pouched Rat
Cricetomys ansorgei Thomas, 1904
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon is most likely a species complex (E. van der Straaten pers. comm.). We follow Happold (in press) by including Cricetomys ansorgei in C. gambianus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): van der Straeten, E., Kerbis Peterhans, J., Howell, K. & Oguge, N.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This very widespread species occurs from the coast of West Africa through central Africa to the coast of East Africa, southwards to the north-eastern tip of South Africa and southern Angola. It occurs from sea level to 2,000 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is an abundant species.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species occurs in various habitats including forest and woodland, as well as farmland, cropland, plantations and rural areas. It is considered to be an adaptable species that is even known to invade sewers.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this adaptable species. It is eaten throughout its range but it is such an abundant species that harvesting is not considered to be a major threat. The species is also used in medical research and has been recorded in the European pet trade. It is considered to be a species pest in some areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas. Research into taxonomy is needed.

Citation: van der Straeten, E., Kerbis Peterhans, J., Howell, K. & Oguge, N. 2008. Cricetomys gambianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T5522A11272093. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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