Dendrohyrax arboreus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Dendrohyrax arboreus
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1827)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Tree Hyrax, Southern Tree Dassie, Eastern Tree Hyrax, Eastern Tree Dassie
French Daman D'Arbre
Dendrohyrax validus True, 1890
Taxonomic Notes: Shoshani (2005) included Dendrohyrax validus as a synonym of Dendrohyrax arboreus. The validity of D. validus as a distinct species has been questioned by some authors (e.g., Bothma 1971), but has been retained as distinct by others (Meester et al. 1986, Schlitter 1993, Milner and Gaylard in press). It is here retained as a full species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Barry, R., Bloomer, P., Hoeck, H. & Shoshani, H. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group)
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. However, forest habitat in eastern and southern Africa is under severe threat from removal and degradation. The situation needs to be closely monitored to determine if this species should be re-assessed to Near Threatened in the future, based on decline under criterion A.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Patchily distributed in forested areas of central and eastern mainland Africa, from central Kenya as far south as the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa, west to north-east Angola. Not recorded from Botswana, Zimbabwe or the Limpopo Province of South Africa (Milner and Gaylard in press).
Angola (Angola); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape); Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Southern Tree Hyraxes spend long periods inactive in the high canopy or tree holes and so often escape notice. They are locally abundant in the Virunga Mts (13.4/ha; Milner and Harris 1999) and Ruwenzori Mts, where they live at a high density. In southern Africa, where D. arboreus is considered rare (Lawes et al. 2000), relative density has been estimated by means of counts of latrines in cavity trees (i.e. Catch Per Unit Effort; Gaylard 1994): 0.07[rn]0.29 latrines/man hour searching were found in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species occurs in forested and well-wooded areas. In South Africa, occurs in Afromontane forests and thickets of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces (Lawes et al. 2000). At the western coastal limit occurs in milkwood-dominated coastal forests (Gaylard 1994), while further north in central Mozambique it occurs in lowland evergreen forests and in the evergreen riverine forests of the Save River (Smithers and Lobão Tello 1976). In East Africa, in the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara Game Reserve, they are found in fig trees and in the riverine forests (H. Hoeck pers. comm.); they also occur in drier Acacia woodland and in rocky alpine and sub-alpine habitats. Throughout their range, dependent on tree cavities, epiphytes or dense matted forest vegetation for shelter. A decrease in numbers in southern Africa has been attributed to loss of structure within habitat, rather than forest size (Castley and Kerley 1993). The biology and life-history of the species is summarized by Milner and Gaylard (in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is snared for food and skins.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats include forest clearing and snaring for meat and skins (Milner and Gaylard in press). Many forest patches are too small to maintain viable populations (Lawes et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is present in a number of protected areas across its range, including of course Serengeti National Park.

Citation: Barry, R., Bloomer, P., Hoeck, H. & Shoshani, H. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) 2008. Dendrohyrax arboreus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 May 2015.
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