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Meet the Tenrecs

May 17, 2019 09:40 AM EDT
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Researchers reviewed the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec -- a poorly understood family of small mammals superficially resembling hedgehogs, found only on the island of Madagascar.
(Photo : Julie Larsen Maher/WCS)

Researchers reviewed the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec - a poorly understood family of small mammals superficially resembling hedgehogs, found only on the island of Madagascar.

They found that six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient, with the primary threat habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps with climate change also expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges.

Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programs targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.

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