Endangered small mammals!

10 Feb 2023 By WildTrack

Did you know that two groups of small mammals - the Rodentia (mice, beavers, squirrels) and Eulipotyphla (shrews, moles, hedgehogs) together contain nearly half of all known mammal species? Yet they are relatively ignored compared with the big iconic species.

The critically endangered Kondana soft-furred rat

While areas protected for these iconic species will also help protect smaller ones, we agree with colleague Stuart Pimm, a world leader in species monitoring, who says ‘no doubt, rodents and shrews do not get the love they deserve!’.

Santa Catarina Guinea pig. Credit: Carolos H Salvador

WildTrack is building a reference library of small mammal footprints towards identifying endangered species on our track plates. The top 20 threatened small mammals are reported here. The beautiful and critically endangered Kondana soft-furred rat in India remains only on a small 1km2 plateau, and the Santa Catarina Guinea pig (Cavia intermedia) is found only in 0.04km in southeastern South America - the smallest geographical range of any mammal. Hunting for meat has driven it to the brink of extinction.