Caenolestes fuliginosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Paucituberculata Caenolestidae

Scientific Name: Caenolestes fuliginosus (Tomes, 1863)
Common Name(s):
English Silky Shrew Opossum, Common Grey Shrew Opossum, Dusky Caenolestid, Ecuadorean Shrew-opossum
French Cénolestidé D´équateur
Caenolestes tatei Anthony, 1923

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-03
Assessor(s): Martin, G.M.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
Contributor(s): Pérez-Hernandez, R., Lew, D., Patterson, B., Gomez-Laverde, M. & Delgado, C.
This species is confirmed as Least Concern due to its broad geographical distribution, presumed large population, and current absence of major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is found from the Andes of central and northern Ecuador, the Andes Centrales and Orientales of Colombia, and extreme southwestern Venezuela. In Colombia, it is found from 2,000 to 3,800 m (Alberico et al. 2000, Solari et al. 2013), up to 2,400 m in Venezuela, and from 2,000 to 4,300 m in Ecuador (Patterson 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Ecuador; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1600
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is the most common and most widely distributed of the genus.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found from tall wet forests, with or without a closed canopy, to densely vegetated scrubland and pastures, mostly within the páramo and upper montane forest ecosystems throughout its range. The species appears to be abundant in some areas, and might be easily trapped if the right bait is used (González-Chávez 2015). The species is mostly nocturnal, feeding on earthworms, flatworms, and several arthropods, both as larvae and adults (Patterson 2015, Martin and González-Chávez 2016).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats; however, the habitat is locally heavily used for cattle grazing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas. It was listed as Vulnerable in the Venezuelan Red List (Patterson 2015).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Alberico, M., Cadena, A., Hernández-Camacho, J. and Muñoz-Saba, Y. 2000. Mamíferos (Synapsida: Theria) de Colombia. Biota Colombiana 1(1): 43-75.

Barnett, A. 1991. Records of the gray-bellied shrew opossum, Caenolestes caniventer, and Tate's shrew opossum, Caenolestes tatei (Caenolestidae, Marsupialia) from Ecuadorian montane forests. Mammalia 55: 443-445.

Gardner, A.L. 2008. Order Didelphimorphia. In: A.L. Gardner (ed.), Mammals of South America, pp. 669. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

González-Chávez, B. 2015. Descripción de parámetros demográficos de Caenolestes fuliginosus en un gradiente altitudinal de la cordillera Central Colombiana. Thesis, Universidad del Valle, Colombia.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Martin, G.M. and B. González-Chávez. 2016. Observations on the behavior of Caenolestes fuliginosus (Tomes, 1863) (Marsupialia, Paucituberculata, Caenolestidae) in captivity. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 568-575.

Patterson, B.D. 2015. Order Paucituberculata. Family Caenolestidae (Shrew-opossums). In: D.E. Wilson and R.A.Mittermeier (eds), Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 5. Monotremes and Marsupials, pp. 188-197. Lynx Edition, Barcelona.

Solari, S., Muñoz-Saba , Y., Rodríguez-Mahecha, J.V., Defler, T., Ramírez-Chaves, H. and Trujillo, F. 2013. Diversidad, Endemismo y Conservación de los Mamíferos de Colombia. Mastozoología Neotropical 20: 301-365.

Citation: Martin, G.M. 2016. Caenolestes fuliginosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41506A22179949. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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