Photo credit: Jose Nunez-Mino
The Hispaniolan Solenodon, Solenodon paradoxus, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is a large shrew-like animal and one of very few mammals capable of producing toxic saliva, which it injects into its invertebrate prey through groves in its incisors. Mainly found in the Dominican Republic, it also clings on in Haiti’s Massif de la Hotte, and occupies a range of habitats from coastal dry scrub to high-elevation pine forest.
The Hispaniolan Solenodon represents a remarkable amount of unique evolutionary history, diverging from other living mammal groups some 75 million years ago, before the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is now threatened by widespread forest destruction through charcoal production and clearance for agriculture or urban development. It is also under pressure from predation by feral dogs and other invasive species.
The Dominican Republic’s network of protected areas offers some protection to the Hispaniolan Solenodon’s remaining habitat. A recently initiated project is conducting field research to assess the species’ status, threats, and specific conservation requirements.
To learn more about the Hispaniolan Solenodon, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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