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Tachyoryctes macrocephalus 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Spalacidae

Scientific Name: Tachyoryctes macrocephalus
Species Authority: (Rüppell, 1842)
Common Name(s):
English Giant Mole Rat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-06
Assessor(s): Lavrenchenko, L. & Kennerley, R.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Corti, M.
Justification:
Tachyoryctes macrocephalus is endemic to Ethiopia. It is assessed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is approximately 5,140 km², all individuals are in fewer than five locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat by overgrazing by domestic livestock.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia. It has been recorded from 3,000 to 4,150 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Ethiopia
Additional data:
Number of Locations:0-5
Lower elevation limit (metres):3000
Upper elevation limit (metres):4150
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is quite common within its restricted range. In Bale Mountains National Park the mean estimated population density was 6,545 animals/km² (Yaba 2007) and in a more recent study 2,000-4,800 animals/km² (Gemechu 2010).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is an inhabitant of alpine grassland habitats. The species has been observed in Erica vegetation which had been affected by fire two or three years previously (Jira et al. 2013).
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overgrazing of its habitat by domestic livestock, both within and outside of the Bale Mountains National Park, is considered to be a threat (Leonid Lavrenchenko pers. comm. 2016). Studies have had mixed results- in a short-term study there was no effect on populations of several species, including Tachyoryctes macrocephalus, in areas where grazers were excluded (Vial et al. 2011), but livestock grazing did effect the species in a more recent study (Fekdu et al. 2015) and other studies have recommended the reduction of grazing (Gemechu 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The majority of the species' range is within the Bale Mountains National Park. There is a general need to maintain suitable grassland habitat for this species.

Citation: Lavrenchenko, L. & Kennerley, R. 2016. Tachyoryctes macrocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21293A22276163. . Downloaded on 07 December 2016.
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