Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is known only from two massifs in the northern highlands of Madagascar. It has an altitudinal range of 1,225 to 1,950 m.
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Ecology

Habitat

Madagascar Ericoid Thickets Habitat

The Cryptic warbler (Cryptosylvicola randrianasoloi) is one of several bird species that are endemic to the Madagascar ericoid thickets. This ecoregion This disjunctive ecoregion includes the ericoid thicket habitats found above approximately 1800 metres on the upper slopes of Madagascar's four major massifs (listed from north to south): Tsaratanana (2876 m), Marojejy (2133 m), Ankaratra (2643 m), and Andringitra (2658 m). Tsaratanana is the most northern massif, at 14o latitude and Andringitra the most southern, at 22o latitude.

The upper montane sclerophyllous forest is dominated by plant species from the families Podocarpaceae, Cunoniaceae, and Pandanaceae, and the trees are shrouded with mosses, lichens, and epiphytes. At higher altitudes, this forest gives way to the ericoid thicket, which is dominated by the Asteraceae (Psiadia, Helichrysum, Stoebe, Stenocline), Ericaceae (Erica, Agauria, Vaccinum), Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus), Rhamnaceae (Phylica) and Rubiaceae plant families. A wide diversity of lichens and bryophytes are represented. Small, damp peat-filled depressions harbor specialized, endemic plants, while rock outcrops host a drought-tolerant flora including Aloe, Kalanchoe and Helichrysum.

Several endemic bird species such as Crossley's ground-roller (Atelornis crossleyi), Cryptic warbler (Cryptosylvicola randrianasoloi) and Yellow-bellied sunbird-asity (Neodrepanis hypoxantha) occur in the upper portions of these mountains.

Example frog species found in this ecoregion are: the  ecoregion endemic Ankafana Madagascar frog (Mantidactylus curtus); ecoregion endemic Dotted Madagascar frog (Guibemantis punctatus); the Endangered Andringitra Madagascar frog (Mantidactylus madecassus); and the Near Threatened Betsileo bright-eyed frog (Boophis rhodoscelis).

The ericoid thicket supports more than ten species of endemic and near-endemic reptiles including the geckos, Millotisaurus mirabilis and Lygodactylus arnoulti. Andringitra also has a newly discovered endemic Gekkonidae, Lygodactylus montanus. At least one amphibian (Boophis williamsi) is strictly endemic, and five other species are nearly endemic to the ecoregion. Two chameleon species are restricted to the high elevational zone of the Marojejy National Park (Calumma peyrierasi) and Andohahela National Park (C. capuroni). A new subspecies of day gecko (Phelsuma lineata) and a new species of plated lizard (Zonosaurus), as well as some anuran taxa, were discovered in the upper reaches of the Tsaratanana Massif.

Two mammals are considered endemic to this ecoregion or the ecotone between it and the upper limit of the subhumid ecoregion, both of which have been described as new genera over the course of the past few years, Monticolomys koopmani, known from the massifs of Ankaratra, Andringitra and Andohahela, and Voalavo gymnocaudus, apparently endemic to the Marojejy-Anjanaharibe-Sud massifs. The upper reaches of Tsaratanana have not been systematically surveyed for small mammals, and thus this area holds the possibility of yielding some great surprises.

Near endemic mammal species living at the middle to upper reaches of eastern mountains of the ecoregion include the Rice tenrec (Oryzorictes tetradactylus), found only in the south central highlands, Highland streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes nigriceps), several shrew-tenrecs (e.g. Microgale gracilis, M. gymnorhyncha, and M. monticola), and a species of tuft-tailed rat (Eliurus majori).

  • Du Puy, D.J., and J. Moat. 1996. A refined classification of the primary vegetation of Madagascar based on the underlying geology: using GIS to map its distribution and to assess its conservation status. In W.R. Lourenço (editor). Biogéographie de Madagascar.. Editions de l ORSTOM, Paris.
  • World Wildlife Fund & C.MIchael Hogan 2015. Madagascar eriocoid thickets. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is apparently restricted to a rather narrow elevational band of mid-montane to sclerophyllous montane forest.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Jenkins, P. & Goodman, S. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group - Tenrec Section)

Reviewer/s
Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because it is known from only two massifs in northern Madagascar, both protected, where there currently are no known major threats to this species.

History
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
Based on standard trapping techniques this species is relatively common (S.M. Goodman pers. comm.).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no obvious major threats at present, but habitat loss from slash and burn/tavy cultivation is a potential future threat. Although this species has a restricted range, all of the records are within protected areas or from sites that will soon be protected.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It has been recorded from the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve and the Marojejy National Park. It is also known from the western slope of a massif outside of the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve which will soon become a protected area. Further research is needed into the population, range and biology and ecology of this species.
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Wikipedia

Montane shrew tenrec

The montane shrew tenrec (Microgale monticola) is a species of mammal in the Tenrecidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.[2]

References

  1. ^ Bronner, G. N.; Jenkins, P. D. (2005). "Order Afrosoricida". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 74. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
  2. ^ a b Afrotheria Specialist Group (Tenrec Section), Jenkins, P. & Goodman, S. (2008). Microgale monticola. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
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