Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A very rare recording of a Zanj elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi) in the coastal forests of Shimoni, Kenya.

The elephant shrews represent a unique and ancient lineage of mammals, endemic to the African continent. Although not much is known about their ecology or population structure, habitat loss is rampant and the species is likely to become endangered within the next years (IUCN 2006). Current action plans focus on identification of range and densities, and appropriate conservation measures.

There have been 286 documented sightings of R. petersi in Shimoni forest. In the protected Arabuko-Sokoke forest on the North-coast of Kenya, the Golden rumped elephant shrew (Rhychocyon chrysopygus) is one of theflagship species for the forest, and with more research conducted on R. petersi, the same could apply to the Shimoni forest, which could take on global importance in the conservation of this species. With 26 species of large mammals, 186 species of birds and over 10 endangered species identified, including a large and important population of Angolan black and white colobus (Colobus angolensis palliatus), Shimoni's forests continue to maintain important levels of biodiversity.