Day 90 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, I want to look at the Cuvier's hutia (also known as Hispaniolan hutia), which occur on a few isolated areas on Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Although little is known about this species, I was able to put together five facts: 1. They inhabit subtropical and tropical forest, as well as rocky areas. 2. They communicate through soft, almost bird-like chirps. 3. They are the only living member of its genus, Plagiodontia. 4. They are one of just two remaining endemic, non-flying land mammals on the island of Hispaniola. 5. They have claws on each digit of the foot, which are used for climbing.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "endangered." As they are herbivores whose diet included local crops, they are often killed as crop pests or opportunistically hunted for food in Haiti. This, paired with habitat destruction and predation from invasive species (mongoose, cats, dogs and rats), are increasing the pressure on this species' survival. In terms of conservation, the Cuvier's hutia does occur in an number of protected areas, however they are not immune from habitat loss. Since little is known about them, surveys and analyses are needed to assist in conservation measures. It should also be noted that education programs and strict laws for conservation have had little effect to date and enforcement of laws is difficult in remote locations. At this time, a focus of suitable measures for protection is key. #enmlillustration #thesadhappy #digitalart