Known from a handful of specimens: analyzing the worldwide patterns of occurrence and conservation of rodents and shrews recorded only from the type locality

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Giovanni Amori
Guido Alari Esposito
Luca Luiselli


Traditionally, conservation research has not focused on Rodentia and Soricomorpha, and many species are known from a handful of specimens and the type locality only (few and type locality species (FETP)).  Here we studied the patterns of occurrence of FETP rodents and soricomorphs in relation to geographical area and vegetation zones and report some conservation considerations.  Overall, 91 species of Rodentia and 19 species of Soricomorpha were selected.  There was a positive correlation between number of species per genus and number of FETP species in each genus.  The majority of FETP rodents occur in the Neotropical, Afrotropical and Oriental regions, and soricomorphs in the Afrotropical and Oriental regions. Higher numbers of FETP rodent species occurred in Argentina and Indonesia.  There was a positive relationship between species richness of rodents per country and number of FETP species.  In terms of habitat type, FETP species of rodents and soricomorphs showed similar patterns, with most species being found in rainforest.  The great majority of selected species of both groups were Data Deficient (DD), with Critically Endangered (CR) accounting for 16.5% of Rodentia and 5.3% of Soricomorpha.  Overall, IUCN threatened species mostly occur in the Neotropical region, followed by the Afrotropical region.  It is urged that IUCN authorities should promptly revise all FETP species and their precautionary CR status, at least when a reasonable timespan (i.e., >25 years) has passed since the last records.


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