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Solenodon

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by mazfc, 2 Nov 2011.

  1. mazfc

    mazfc Well-Known Member

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    Whilst reading another thread I saw reference to a rare mammal calked a solenodon. As with quite a few references to rare animals wiki became my friend and I looked it up. And what a fascinating creature it is! And of course, like many a fadcinating creature, becoming very rare. Surviving pretty much unchanged for 76 million years, we are happily finishing it off with our obsession with deforestation.

    I found reference to a conservation project, it's well worth a read.

    The Last Survivors | Hispaniolan solenodon
     
  2. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I saw a Haitian (or Hispaniolan) solenodon at Frankfurt in 1972. Utterly strange - like a stretch version of a hedgehog, with no spines but a long tail - with a very waddling walk.
    My image of the sort of primitive mammals that lived alongside the dinosaurs is that they must have been quite like solenodons.

    Alan

    PS just found a video of this species
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017
  3. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    Nice footage. What happened to the animal in question?

    I don't know if anyone can remember the animal held in the Clore in its very early days. BTW, totally agree with your image of early mammals!
     
  4. docend24

    docend24 Well-Known Member

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    It looks kind of like miniROUS.
     
  5. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    I saw a mounted solenodon in the cuban national museum of natural history in Havanna more than a decade ago. IN 2004 a solenodon was found in the sierra maestra cubana, he was named alejandrito, studied by local biologists for 3 days and later released. I do not know of more recent sightings.
     
  6. mazfc

    mazfc Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the footage Alan, they are incredible. I agree with the image of primitive mammals too.
     
  7. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    David Wooderson was the zoo volunteer in charge of the small mammal trolley for many years. He compiled a list of all the mammals that had been held in the Clore. Zootierliste says the species kept in about 1967 was a Hispaniolan solenodon and also says that Antwerp, Frankfurt, Halle, Leipzig and Wroclaw have kept the species. Frank Wheeler, who was in charge of the Clore for many years, wanted to get solenodons back again. Other species on the wants list of Frank and various other staff include bilbies and yapoks. I would like to see all of these and live in hope.
     
  8. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    From the ZSL Edge of Existence website:-The species is fully protected by law. However, national parks in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti are threatened by deforestation and encroachment for farming and charcoal production. The US Agency for International Development and the Nature Conservancy are currently working with local non-governmental organisations to improve protection and implement management plans for these parks (Parks in Peril programme).

    A Recovery Plan for the isolated Haitian population published in 1992 advocated comprehensive surveys, improved management of the National Park Pic Macaya, education campaigns, control of exotic mammals, and an ex situ breeding programmes. These recommendations have not yet been implicated.


    So, so often the pace at which conservation moves is so agonisingly slow. Haiti is one of the last places on earth where in-situ conservation is likely to be aided by effective governmental protection. Someone, somewhere is going to have to get this animal acclimatised in captivity, or (I fear) we will lose it
     
  9. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    This solenodon arrived at London Zoo in 1967, the year that the Clore Pavilion opened.

    It is listed in the ZSL Annual Report for 1967 as not only a species but also a family new to the collection.
     
  10. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Thanks Ian.

    I remember when the list of animals often included species etc that were new to the collection. Unfortunately, these 'new' species seem to be on the decline. I wonder how often Plzen Zoo gets species that are new to its collection. It has an expanding collection and several 'unique' species.
     
  11. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands 15+ year member Premium Member

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    And with better dentition.

    :p

    Hix
     
  12. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I have found another YouTube video which shows the work being done on Hispaniola on hutias and solenodons. It has better footage of controlled animals (as shown in the other video) plus infra-red shots which may be from camera traps, so it is well worth watching.

    I think most of the animals which have been captured have been released quickly and the video does not mention holding any in captivity at this stage.

    Alan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017