Sengi (elephant-shrew) observations from northern coastal Kenya

  • S Andanje
  • BR Agwanda
  • GW Ngaruiya
  • R Amin
  • GB Rathbun
Keywords: Boni Forest, distribution, elephant-shrew, Macroscelidea, Rhynchocyon

Abstract

The biodiversity of northern coastal Kenya is poorly understood because security problems and poor infrastructure have discouraged access to the area. However, the wooded areas in the region have great potential for harbouring unique and rare species, including sengis or elephant-shrews (Macroscelidea). Based on recent surveys of the Boni and Dodori National Reserves, which are between the Tana River and the Somali border, the ranges of the rufous sengi (Elephantulus rufescens) and four-toed sengi (Petrodromus tetradactylus) have been extended. Although the golden-rumped sengi (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) of coastal Kenya south of the lower Tana River was assumed to occur in the Boni forest region, this now appears to be incorrect. The Rhynchocyon east of the lower Tana River is definitely not R. chrysopygus, but rather resembles taxa found hundreds of kilometres to the south. Determining the taxonomic status of what may be a new form of Rhynchocyon will require the collection of voucher specimens and DNA tissues for detailed analyses.

Keywords: Boni Forest, distribution, elephant-shrew, Macroscelidea, Rhynchocyon

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eISSN: 1026-1613
print ISSN: 0012-8317