Day 48 of #the100dayproject and my#realandendangered project. Today, let's look at the Golden-rumped sengi (or Golden-rumped elephant shrew), endemic to Kenya. You will want to stick around for these facts: 1. First off, recent studies show they are not closely related to shrews, but instead are a distant relative to elephants. 2. One the largest species of sengi, it can be identified by the bright yellow patch of fur on its rump. 3. They are monogamous and mate for life. 4. They have a commensal relationship with red-capped robin-chats. These birds follow the elephant shrews through the forest and feed on invertebrates that they leave behind. 5. They are diurnal and sleep at night in a nest constructed from leaf litter. They are also careful to choose between six nests to ensure they are undetected by predators.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature list them as "endangered" and considered the most threatened of the four currently recognized species of giant elephant-shrew. They are threatened by forest habitat destruction and fragmentation and the areas remaining are considered to be too small to support viable populations. Areas that are sizable face threats of tree and pole cutting and agricultural encroachment. In addition to their leaf litter nests, these sengi also favor hollow trees for protection against predators, which means the removal of those trees by woodcarvers is an additional problem, as they become more vulnerable to predators. Then, of course, illegal trappings of the sengi have contributed in the past to a reduction in their numbers, but is still a lesser concern when compared to habitat loss. Luckily they do occur in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, which provides protection, and has a 25-year strategic management plan. However, as of 2015 the IUCN noted that their numbers were still in decline, so it is unclear if these efforts are or will be successful. #enmlillustration