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Dendrohyrax arboreus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA HYRACOIDEA PROCAVIIDAE

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
Synonym(s):
Hyrax arboreus A. Smith, 1827
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 2013). It is here retained as a full species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-12-16
Assessor(s): Butynski, T., Hoeck, H. & de Jong, Y.A.
Reviewer(s): Taylor, A.
Contributor(s): Barry, R., Bloomer, P. & Shoshani, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Koren, L.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, persistence over vast unprotected 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.
History:
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Patchily distributed in forested areas of central and eastern mainland Africa, from central Kenya (known northern limit is Nyambene Hills; T. Butynski and Y. De Jong pers. comm.) southwards through SW Kenya, southern Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, southern and extreme eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), northeast Angola, Zambia, and as far south as the Zambezi River in Mozambique. A confined population is supported south of the Zambezi River, Mozambique, and in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Not recorded from Botswana, Zimbabwe or the Limpopo Province of South Africa (Milner and Gaylard 2013).

Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal); Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia
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. Locally common and abundant in the Virunga Mts (Uganda, DRC, Rwanda; 13.4/ha; Milner and Harris 1999), Ruwenzori Mts (Uganda, DRC), and Aberdares Range and Mount Kenya region (Kenya). 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: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The species occurs in forested and well-wooded areas. In South Africa, it 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 Lobao-Tello 1976). In East Africa, in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara Game Reserve, they are found in fig trees and in the riverine forests (H. Hoeck pers. comm.); on Mount Kenya and vicinity as well as the Aberdares Range the species occupies mid-montane forest and riverine forest. Occurs 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 (2013).

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 loss, degradation and fragmentation, as well as hunting for meat and skins (Milner and Gaylard 2013). Many forest patches are too small to maintain viable populations (Lawes et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The species is present in many large protected areas across its range, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Mount Meru, Mahale Mountains National Park (Tanzania), Mount Kenya National Park and Forest Reserves, Aberdares National Park and Forest Reserves, Kakamega Forest National Reserve, Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya), Virunga National Park (DRC), Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Kibale National Park (Uganda), Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park (Rwanda).


Citation: Butynski, T., Hoeck, H. & de Jong, Y.A. 2015. Dendrohyrax arboreus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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