Santamartamys rufodorsalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Echimyidae

Scientific Name: Santamartamys rufodorsalis (J.A. Allen, 1899)
Common Name(s):
English Red Crested Tree Rat, Santa Marta Toro
Diplomys rufodorsalis J.A. Allen, 1899
Taxonomic Notes: This species has been assigned to a new monotypic genus Santamartamys (Emmons 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-09-08
Assessor(s): Lacher, T. & Roach, N.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Pierro, H., Salaman, P. & Patterson, B.

This species is listed as Critically Endangered because it is occurs only in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, and only one known individual has been documented within the last 100 years. This species is likely rare and has a very small population size, the distribution is restricted to less than 100 km².

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:It is known only from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta between 700 and 2,000 m in Colombia. There is one locality mapped in the Sierra de Parijá without documentation, and the species might range to this mountain area in Venezuela (Emmons and Patton 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:90
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population status of this species is unknown. Only one individual has been documented in over 100 years. A concentrated survey around the El Dorado Reserve took place during the summer of 2016 for one month, no individuals were spotted during a series of repeated nocturnal spotlight surveys (Roach, N. unpublished data). Current reports by ProAves (Paul Salaman) present a scenario of land degradation and resultant fragmentation. Other tree rats (Genus Diplomys) nest in tree cavities and are arboreal, and probably do not disperse long distances. Fragmentation and degradation of the canopy would probably impact dispersal ability of Santamartamys as well.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-50
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The habitat preferences and ecological requirements of this species are unknown. It is known only from upper tropical to lower montane humid forest on the northwest slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It presumably inhabits montane forest, but it is one of the most rare and poorly known small mammals in the region (Emmons and Patton 2015, Fabre 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The threats to this species, if any, are unknown (Emmons and Feer 1997). This species' habitat has undergone a deterioration in status since the last comprehensive assessment. Montane forest habitat continues to be cleared in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta - specifically in the species' limited range for holiday homes, non-shade coffee plantations and pasturelands for livestock. In March 2016, during an extremely intense prolonged drought, over 100 acres of key habitat was destroyed in multiple forest fires from pastureland into primary forest. While the El Dorado Reserve continues to expand through land acquisition by Fundacion ProAves with the support of Rainforest Trust and other entities, the pressure from surrounding developments is very high. For example, land prices have increased 5-fold in the past five years as farms are purchased and developed (Paul Salaman pers. comm). Climate impacts could be a long-range threat. Urgent studies are required to identify additional specific threats in additional to habitat loss.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is known to occur in the 1,900 acre (769 ha) El Dorado Nature Reserve, where one individual was observed in 2011. Nothing is known about current occurrence outside this observation. There have been reported sightings by local Colombians and indigenous groups, however these are rare and unconfirmed by photographic or physical evidence.

Citation: Lacher, T. & Roach, N. 2017. Santamartamys rufodorsalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T6664A22210948. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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