Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is known from one specimen collected in 1961 at 1,600 m asl, from a single mountain of Berg Rara in the Cyclops Mountains in extreme northern Papua Province, Indonesia. It has not been located in the adjacent mountain ranges of Torricelli and Bewani (there are fossil records from the Bewani range). It could be found in the Foja Range, which has not been adequately surveyed. An expedition to the Cyclops Mountains in May 2007 found evidence of the species (recent digging activity and burrows), and there was local knowledge of the species that implied its continued existence there, although no echidna was sighted (J. Baillie, in litt.). This expedition concluded that the species probably occurs also at lower elevations than previously thought; 166 to 1,600 m.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in tropical montane moss forest. It is likely that this species lays eggs (given what is known of its congeners and from local reports) and the primary food is worms.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii,v)

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 because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2, all individuals are in a single location, there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and a decline in the number of mature individuals due to hunting.
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Population

Population
This species has not been recorded since 1961. An expedition to the Cyclops Mountains in May 2007 found evidence of the species (recent digging activity and burrows), and there was local knowledge of the species that implied its continued existence there. It is thought to have been distributed more widely. It is a large animal that probably occurred at low density and would not have existed in such a small area naturally.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Hunting by local people continues to be a major threat (J. Baillie, in litt.). The habitat is also being degraded by logging and by the expansion of small-scale agriculture.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. The area from which the single specimen was collected has been declared a reserve (Flannery and Groves 1998). There is a need to enforce the protection of this area and conduct additional surveys in suitable habitat for remaining populations on Berg Rara and in the Foja Range. Further research is needed into the natural history of the species and into conservation measures to protect it.
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Wikipedia

Sir David's long-beaked echidna

Sir David's long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi), also known as Attenborough's long-beaked echidna or the Cyclops long-beaked echidna, is one of three species from the genus Zaglossus to occur in New Guinea. It is named in honour of Sir David Attenborough, the eminent naturalist. It lives in the Cyclops Mountains in Papua province of Indonesia near the cities of Sentani and Jayapura.

It is the smallest member of the genus, being closer in size to the short-beaked echidna than are other members of the genus. The male is larger than the female, and can be differentiated by the spurs on its hind legs. The echidna is not a social animal, and comes together with its own kind only once a year, in July, to mate. The female will lay the eggs after about eight days, and the babies will stay in the mother's pouch for around eight weeks or until their spines develop.

The creature is nocturnal, and can roll up into a spiny ball when it feels threatened, somewhat in the manner of a hedgehog. It weighs from 5 to 10 kilograms (11 to 22 lb).[3]

The echidna is endangered by hunting and habitat loss. In fact, in the 1900s, it was thought to be extinct until some of their "nose pokes" were found in the mountains of New Guinea. These "nose pokes" are very distinct and represent the echidna's feeding techniques.[4] The diet of this hardy-built animal consists of earthworms, termites, insect larvae and ants.

The species was described from a single damaged specimen collected in the Dutch colonial era (c. 1961), and has apparently not been collected since then.[5] Given the ongoing anthropogenic disturbance of the Cyclops Mountain forest habitat, this has raised concern that Z. attenboroughi populations may already be endangered or even locally extirpated. However, biological surveys of Papua province are notoriously incomplete; it is possible the animal still exists there or in related mountain ranges.

This animal is so high in the endangered-species list that locals are being educated on this creature and asked to stop their tradition of hunting and killing it and sharing it with rivals as a peace offering.[6]

As reported on July 15, 2007, researchers from EDGE visiting Papua's Cyclops Mountains had recently discovered burrows and tracks thought to be those of Zaglossus attenboroughi. Furthermore, communication with local people revealed the species had perhaps been seen as recently as 2005.[7]

Sir David's long-beaked echidna was identified as one of the top-10 "focal species" in 2007 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project.[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 attenboroughi. 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. ^ "New hope over 'extinct' echidna". BBC News. 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  4. ^ http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=2
  5. ^ Flannery, T.F.; C.P. Groves (1998). "A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies". Mammalia 62 (3): 387–390. doi:10.1515/mamm.1998.62.3.367. 
  6. ^ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070718-echidna.html
  7. ^ BBC News (2007-07-15). "New hope over 'extinct' echidna". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  8. ^ "Protection for 'weirdest' species". BBC. 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
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