Animal Info - Little Earth Hutia

(Other Name: Little Ground Hutia, San Felipe Hutia)

Mesocapromys sanfelipensis (Capromys s.)

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
3. Data on Biology and Ecology (Habitat)
4. References


Profile

Pictures: Related Species: Bahamas Hutia (7 Kb JPEG) and Jamaican Hutia (8 Kb JPEG) 

The little earth hutia's habitat includes low, dense vegetation. It was first described in 1970 from Cayo Juan Garcia, on the south side of Pinar del Rio Province off of southwestern Cuba. It was reported to have been extirpated from this location by 1991. It also may occur on nearby Cayo Real. It has been suggested that the reasons for the little earth hutia's decline may have been: 1) hunting by humans; 2) competition with introduced rats Rattus rattus; and 3) habitat loss, first by fires lit by fishermen to drive off mosquitoes and then by a huge increase in human activity in 1988 - 89, which left virtually no suitable habitat.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1982 - 1994: Endangered
  • 1996 - 2004: Critically Endangered (Criteria: C2b) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2004)

Countries Where the Little Earth Hutia Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Cuba (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The little earth hutia was first described in 1970 from Cayo Juan Garcia, on the south side of Pinar del Rio Province off of southwestern Cuba. It was reported to have been extirpated from this location by 1991 (Alvarez & Gonzalez 1991). It also may occur on nearby Cayo Real (Lidicker 1989).

Distribution Map (13 Kb) (InfoNatura) 

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

It has been suggested that the reasons for the little earth hutia's decline may have been:

  1. hunting by humans
  2. competition with introduced rats Rattus rattus, and
  3. habitat loss, first by fires lit by fishermen to drive off mosquitoes and then by a huge increase in human activity in 1988 - 89, which left virtually no suitable habitat

(Alvarez & Gonzalez 1991)


Data on Biology and Ecology

Habitat:

The little earth hutia's habitat includes low, dense vegetation.

The little earth hutia is one of the species that live in both the Caribbean Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.) and the Greater Antillean Moist Forests Global 200 Ecoregion. (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999)


References

Alvarez & Gonzalez 1991, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl., InfoNatura, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Lidicker 1989, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, Oryx 1972e


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Last modified: August 1, 2006;

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