Overview

Brief Summary

Barton's or eastern long-nosed echidna (Zaglossus bartoni)

The Barton's or eastern long-nosed echidna is widespread throughout the central mountains of New Guinea, the Foja Mountains (Indonesia) and the Huon Peninsula (Papua New Guinea). It has a very patchy distribution and is probably now extirpated from most of its range (specimens are very common in the fossil record). Historically, it has been recorded from sea level to around 4,150 m above sea level, but is rarely found at sea level now, but occurs mainly at 2,000-3,000 m (6,600-9,800 ft). It ranges from tropical hill forests to sub-alpine forests, grasslands and scrub and occurs in secondary habitats.

It differs from other long-nosed echidnas by having 5 claws on its fore feet and 4 on its hind feet. It is the largest monotreme and weighs 5-10 kg (11-22 lb). It is 60-100 cm (24-39 in) long and has no tail. It has dense black fur. It rolls into a spiny ball for defence. It can have large home ranges; one occupied 198 ha over two months. It feeds mainly on worms. The female lays eggs. A captive at London Zoo lived for 30 years. The echidna is listed as Critically Endangered and is on Appendix II of CITES, due to a suspected continuing population decline of at least 80% over the last three generations (45-50 years). Hunters say there have been declines in its area of occupancy and the species has been exploited due to hunting. It has been hunted to local extinction in densely populated and accessible regions of New Guinea, but may be more common in inaccessible areas. Tim Flannery says the subpopulations in the western half (mainly the central mountains of Papua, Indonesia) have largely gone extinct, but some in the east (Papua New Guinea) seem to be more secure. Populations are Decreasing. The echidna is heavily threatened by hunting for food by local people (a prime prey species) and by loss of habitat through conversion of suitable areas to cultivated land. A nickel mine has been proposed in the Wowo Gap area, which seems to support a good population of this species. The major populations are now largely confined to the higher reaches of the central massifs. The echidna has been recorded from some protected areas. There are four geographically isolated subspecies: Z. b. bartoni; Z. b. clunius; Z. b. smeenki and Z. b. diamondi. They differ mainly in body size.
  • Flannery, T.F. and Groves, C.P. 1998. A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies. Mammalia, 62(3): 367–396
  • Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Monotremata". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  • Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. (2008). Zaglossus bartoni. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as critically endangered.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is widespread throughout the central mountains of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), the Foja Mountains (Indonesia), and the Huon Peninsula (Papua New Guinea), but it has a very patchy distribution and is probably now extirpated from most of its range (specimens are very common in the fossil record). Historically, it has been recorded from sea level to around 4,150 m asl. It is, however, rarely found at sea level now.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species ranges from tropical hill forests to sub-alpine forests, grasslands and scrub. It is also found in secondary habitats. It has a large altitudinal range. This species lays eggs and the primary food is worms. It can have large home ranges, as evidenced by a recorded home range of about 198 ha over a two month period (D. Wright pers. comm.). Is a long-lived species; there is a record of an animal from the London Zoo which lived for thirty years.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2acd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C.

Reviewer/s
Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Critically Endangered due to a suspected continuing population decline of at least 80% over the last three generations (i.e., the last 45-50 years) based on direct observation in parts of its range, declines in area of occupancy (reports from hunters), and actual levels of exploitation due to hunting.
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Population

Population
The species has been hunted to local extinction in the densely populated and accessible regions of New Guinea. It may be more common in inaccessible areas. Tim Flannery (pers. comm.) says that the subpopulations in the western half (mainly the central mountains of Papua, Indonesia) have largely gone extinct, but some in the east (Papua New Guinea) appear to be more secure.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
It is heavily threatened by hunting for food by local people (a prime prey species), and also by loss of habitat through conversion of suitable areas to cultivated land. A nickel mine has been proposed in the Wowo Gap area (in the next 10-15 years), which is an area that appears to support a good population of this species (L. Seri pers. comm.). The major populations are now largely confined to the higher reaches of the central massifs.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. It has been recorded from some protected areas. Hunting regulations are needed to protect this species. Further field studies to identify important areas for this species are needed. The taxonomy of this species should be reviewed.
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Wikipedia

Eastern long-beaked echidna

The eastern long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bartoni), also known as Barton's long-beaked echidna, is one of three species from the genus Zaglossus to occur in New Guinea. It is found mainly in Papua New Guinea at elevations between 2,000 and 3,000 metres (6,600 and 9,800 ft).

Taxonomy[edit]

Description[edit]

The eastern long-beaked echidna can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the number of claws on the fore and hind feet: it has five claws on its fore feet and four on its hind feet. Its weight varies from 5 to 10 kilograms (11 to 22 lb); its body length ranges from 60 to 100 centimetres (24 to 39 in); it has no tail. It has dense black fur. The species is the largest monotreme and is slow-moving. It rolls into a spiny ball for defense.

History[edit]

All long-beaked echidnas were classified as a single species, until 1998 when Flannery published an article identifying several new species and subspecies.[3] Three species were then recognized based on various attributes such as body size, skull morphology, and the number of toes on the front and back feet.[3]

There are four recognized subspecies of Zaglossus bartoni :[4]

The population of each subspecies is geographically isolated. The subspecies are distinguished primarily by differences in body size.

Diet[edit]

Eastern long-beaked echidnas are mainly insect eaters, or insectivores. If you look at the physical appearance of this species of Long-Beaked Echidna, you would notice that it has a long snout and almost resembles a miniature anteater. This long snout proves essential for the Echidna’s survival because of its ability to get in between hard-to-reach places and scavenge for smaller insect organisms such as larvae and ticks. Along with this snout, they have a specific evolutionary adaptation in their tongues for snatching up various earthworms, which are its main type of food source.

Habitat[edit]

Zaglossus bartoni habitats include tropical hill forests to sub-alpine forests, upland grasslands and scrub. The species has been found in locations up to an elevation of around 4,150 m. Today is it rare to find Zaglossus bartoni at sea level.[5]

Conservation[edit]

Zaglossus bartoni is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the Red List.[6] Deforestation is one of the factors leading to the decline of this species.

Ecology and Behavior[edit]

Predators[edit]

Humans are the main factor in diminishing populations of eastern long-beaked echidnas. Locals in areas surrounding regions that these organisms inhabit often prey upon them for food. Feral dogs are known to occasionally consume this species. These mammals dig burrows, providing some protection from predation.

Reproduction[edit]

The eastern long-beaked echidna is a member of the order Monotremata. Although monotremes have the some of the same mammal features such as hair hair and mammary glands, they do not give birth to live young, they lay eggs. Like birds and reptiles, monotremes have a single opening, the cloaca. The cloaca allows for the passage of urine and feces, the transmission of sperm, and the laying of eggs.[7]

Little is actually known about the breeding behaviors of this animal, due to the difficulty of finding and tracking specimens.[8] Unfortunately, the way the spines on the echidna lie make it difficult to attach tracking devices, in addition to the difficulty in finding the animals themselves, as they are mainly nocturnal.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Monotremata". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. (2008). Zaglossus bartoni. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as critically endangered.
  3. ^ a b Flannery, T. F.; Groves, C. P. (Jan 1998). "A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies". 'Mammalia' 6 (3): 367–396. doi:10.1515/mamm.1998.62.3.367. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Don E. "Zaglossus bartoni". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  5. ^ . iucn red list http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/136552/0. Retrieved 25 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ . iucn red list http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/136552/0.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Monotreme". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. EBSCOhost. 2013. ISBN 9780787650155. 
  8. ^ a b Opiang, Muse (April 2009). "Home Ranges, Movement, and Den Use in Long-Beaked Echidnas, Zaglossus Bartoni, From Papua New Guinea". Journal of Mammalogy (American Society of Mammalogists) 9 (2): 340–346. doi:10.1644/08-MAMM-A-108.1. 
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