Exploring Small Mammal Conservation inĀ Africa

The plight of many African small mammals threatened with extinction is either unknown or largely ignored. This special session seeks to highlight and discuss the conservation challenges, needs, and options for threatened small mammals in Africa.

Large charismatic mammals receive a lot of attention from conservationists, scientists, and the public. Most mammals in Africa are, however, small and inconspicuous, and many of them are threatened with extinction. Despite this, they typically receive little conservation attention. In southern Africa, for example, the mammal group with the highest number and proportion of threatened species is golden moles (Family Chrysochloridae; representing six of the 17 Endangered or Critically Endangered mammals in South Africa alone) – and yet there are big question marks over their taxonomy, and even their distribution and abundance is poorly known. Small mammals are seldom accounted for in conservation plans developed by conservation authorities, where it is generally assumed if sufficient habitat for large mammals is conserved then smaller mammals will look after themselves. However, as is the case for golden moles, some small mammals may be facing unique threats. The purpose of this special session is to highlight conservation issues, as well as research and management approaches for the conservation of small mammals in Africa, with a view to highlighting, amongst others, the need for more research and monitoring, and for a greater focus on conservation measures and incorporation into systematic conservation plans.

Presentations providing insight, ideas and approaches for small mammal conservation and monitoring in Africa are invited.

Open session – researchers and practitioners are encouraged to submit relevant presentations for inclusion in this session. Participation in the session during the Symposium is open to all. Submissions that cannot be incorporated into the session by the convener will be considered for general sessions in the remainder of the programme.

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