IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Web-footed tenrec (Limnogale mergulus)

The web-footed or aquatic tenrec is restricted to streams and rivers within natural forests in the eastern humid forests and central highlands of Madagascar at altitudes of 450–2,000 m.

It grows to 25-39 cm long and weighs 40-60 g. It is nocturnal, spending most of its time swimming and diving in fast-moving streams for food. It sleeps during the day in small streamside burrows.

It is a semi-aquatic carnivore and probably eats freshwater crayfish, tadpoles, aquatic insects and their larvae and small crustaceans.

It needs permanent, clean and fast flowing water, but many of the streams where it lives are threatened by siltation. Deforestation is causing soil erosion and agricultural expansion is fragmenting the upland forests, which isolates fast-flowing riverine habitat. The tenrec is listed as Vulnerable, but was thought to be extinct.


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