Mindanao gymnure (Podogymnura truei)

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Dorsal view of a male Mindanao gymnure skin specimen
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Mindanao gymnure fact file

Mindanao gymnure description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderErinaceomorpha
FamilyErinaceidae
GenusPodogymnura (1)

Gymnures are relatives of hedgehogs, but lack the prickly spines (3). Found only on a single island, the Mindanao gymnure, whose local name means ‘ground pig’, has long, soft, grey fur mixed with reddish-brown hairs on the upperparts. The underparts are greyer, with a few brown hairs, and the moderately long tail is buff to purplish. It has a long snout and well developed canine teeth (2).

Also known as
Mindanao moonrat.
Size
Head-body length: 130 – 150 mm (2)
Tail length: 40 – 70 mm (2)
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Mindanao gymnure biology

The little-known gymnures are believed to exhibit behaviour that is more akin to the elusive shrews than to their spiky relatives; they move faster and dig less efficiently than hedgehogs (3). Mindanao gymnures are known to feed on insects and worms, and many of them have been lured into traps baited with bird flesh (2). The well-developed anal gland of the Mindanao gymnure produces an unpleasant odour, which is likely to assist in deterring predators (3)

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Mindanao gymnure range

Endemic to Mindanao, in the Philippines. It has been collected from Mount Apo, Mount Katanglad and the eastern slope of Mount McKinley (2)

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Mindanao gymnure habitat

The Mindanao gymnure inhabits forest, and frequently visits areas of standing water, at elevations between 1,600 and 2,300 meters (2) (4).

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Mindanao gymnure status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

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Mindanao gymnure threats

The fate of the Mindanao gymnure is intrinsically linked to the survival of the forests of Mindanao. The forests of the island have already been reduced to just 29 percent of what they were, after being destroyed by logging and the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture (2), and the remaining patches of forest continue to be degraded and destroyed. Legal logging operations continue in certain areas, where primary forest is being cleared and replaced with exotic trees for paper production. Illegal logging poses an even greater threat as it is widespread and unchecked, even inside protected areas (5). However, forest of the lowlands is most greatly threatened, and the gymnure may be afforded some protection from its montane habitat (6).

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Mindanao gymnure conservation

Mount Apo, a dormant volcano on which the Mindanao gymnure has been collected, is also home to the imposing Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and has been designated a Natural Park (7). However, as mentioned above, protected areas are not entirely immune to the widespread threat of deforestation. Further research into the status, ecology and threats of the Mindanao gymnure has been recommended by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews Action Plan (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the Mindanao gymnure see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Primary forest
Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Nowak, R.M. (1991) Walker’s Mammals of the World. 5th Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
  3. Rondinini, C. (2006) Hedgehogs and Moonrats. In: Macdonald, D.W. (Ed) The Encylopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. Stone, R.D. (1995) Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews - Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  5. BirdLife International. (2003) Saving Asia's Threatened Birds: a Guide for Government and Civil Society. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  6. EDGE of Existence (October, 2007)
    http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=48
  7. UNEP-WCMC World Database on Protected Areas (October, 2007)
    http://www.unep-wcmc.org/wdpa/
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Image credit

Dorsal view of a male Mindanao gymnure skin specimen  
Dorsal view of a male Mindanao gymnure skin specimen

© The Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum Picture Library
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 207 942 5323
Fax: +44 (0) 207 942 5443
nhmpl@nhm.ac.uk
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/piclib

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