The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) launched the 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland in December 2016. Each week, we’ll be bringing you new species assessments, and introducing you to our Mammal of the Week, based on this updated Red List.

Long-tailed Forest Shrew
Myosorex longicaudatus

This week’s mammal of the week is the Long-tailed Forest Shrew. The Long-tailed Forest Shrew is not a well-known species, partly because it was only discovered in 1978. This diminutive shrew is only found in South Africa, and lives in a narrow range of forest within the Western and Eastern Cape provinces. Unfortunately, the population is expected to be declining due to ongoing habitat loss. Further, climate change is expected to reduce the amount of suitable habitat available for this species which requires moist forest habitats. Due to its restricted range, fragmented habitat, and both current and projected (from climate change) loss of habitat and habitat quality, the species has been listed as Endangered. The main conservation actions for this species are the protection and restoration of wetlands and grasslands within and around forest patches.

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The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland was funded via the South African National Biodiversity Institute (through a grant by the Norwegian Government that aims to build capacity in the southern Africa region for undertaking assessments), the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Department of Environmental Affairs, E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers Group of Companies.