Cryptoprocta spelea 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Eupleridae

Scientific Name: Cryptoprocta spelea
Species Authority: Grandidier, 1902
Common Name(s):
English Giant Fosa, Giant Fossa
Taxonomic Notes: Grandidier (1902) described a large form of Cryptoprocta ferox from subfossil material dating from the presumed Holocene in Madagascar that he referred to the variety spelea. Subsequently, there has been varying opinion on the validity of this taxon. Goodman et al. (2004) examined and analysed 159 subfossil and 32 modern osteological specimens of Cryptoprocta and concluded that this was a valid species that existed on Madagascar in the recent geological past.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-01-28
Assessor(s): Hoffmann, M. & Hawkins, F.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Extinct as there is no evidence to suggest that this large species of Cryptoprocta currently survives on Madagascar. It is currently known only from subfossil remains and is believed to have survived at least into the recent geological past.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Extinct (EX)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: On the basis of current subfossil evidence, Cryptoprocta spelea occurred at a variety of sites from Lakaton’ny Akanga in the far north near Antsiranana, along the western portion of Madagascar, south to numerous sites at the southern end of the island; it is also recorded on the central highlands at Antsirabe (Goodman et al. 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 0
Number of Locations: 0
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is extinct.
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 0
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Given the size of Cryptoprocta spelea, its massive jaws and large carnassial teeth, it must have been a formidable predator and certainly capable of taking larger prey than the extant C. ferox. Evidence suggests that the two forms of Cryptoprocta might have been separated well enough in size to be able to coexist (Goodman et al. 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no uses at present as this species is extinct.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The reasons for the disappearance of this species on Madagascar (its entire world range) are unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are needed because the species is extinct.

Classifications [top]

0. Root -> 18. Unknown
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Goodman, S.M., Rasoloarison, R.M. and Ganzhorn, J.U. 2004. On the specific identification of subfossil Cryptoprocta (Mammalia, Carnivora) from Madagascar. Zoosystema 26(1): 129–143.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Citation: Hoffmann, M. & Hawkins, F. 2015. Cryptoprocta spelea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T136456A45221489. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided