Afrotherian Conservation


Slash and burn agriculture in an Afrotherian HOTspot: Gedi Ruins "National Park", Kenya 1972. Photos by G. Rathbun

The species listed here are classified on the IUCN redlist as either endangered (EN), vulnerable (VU), or near-threatened (NT) by the 2016 IUCN RedList. While some of the IUCN categories do not necessarily imply imminent extinction, the trend in many cases is negative. That is, without additional effort towards conservation on the part of local communities, NGOs, national and international regulatory agencies, "first world" consumers, and other relevant parties, these species will eventually become extinct, many within your lifetime.

Here are PDF file downloads of conservation fact sheets for the Aardvark, Golden Moles, Sengis, Tenrecs, and Hyraxes. These fact sheets are periodically updated, and they supersede Nicoll, M. E. and G. B. Rathbun. 1990. African Insectivora and Elephant-shrews, an action plan for their conservation. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Gland, Switzerland.

In many cases, the causes of extinction are simple: destruction of natural habitat due to increased exploitation of fossil fuels, timber, minerals, and expansion of agricultural zones by humans.

Human population is increasing exponentially and, in many places, we are consuming per capita an ever increasing share of the Earth's resources. No one knows exactly what the carrying capacity of the planet is for any single species. However, the consequences of exceeding that capacity will be truly dire, at least for humans.

Small, at-risk afrotherians on the 2016 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Tenrecidae: at least 8 of ca. 34 species are at risk


Micropotamogale lamottei with bownet used by locals for fishing. The bownet frequently traps and kills Micropotamogale. Photos by P. Vogel


Micropotamogale ruwenzorii.
Photo by Urs Rahm

Chrysochloridae: at least 12 of 21 species are at risk


Macroscelididae: at least 3 of 19 species are at risk

Afrotherian "Hotspots"

Small afrotherians possibly at risk of extinction, but without adequate information for assessment




Non-Governmental Conservation Groups Helping to Protect Afrotherian Habitat

Conservation Groups of General Interest

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