Assess the current conservation status and range of the solenodon and determine the effects of the threats to allow the development of an appropriate conservation management strategy.
The Hispaniolan solenodon and its relative the Cuban solenodon are the only living mammals to possess teeth designed to inject venom into their prey, like a snake. Solenodons split from all other living mammals around an amazing 76 million years ago, the same time as many mammalian orders, for example when elephants split from the sea-dwelling manatees. Solenodons separated into two species 25 million years ago, while dolphins split from whales and humans from from other monkeys. Solenodons are among the few land mammals to survive European colonisation of the West Indies. The Hispaniolan solenodon was believed to be extinct in Haїti until its continued existence was confirmed by an EDGE expedition in 2007.
Before European colonisation of Hispaniola the species had no natural predators on the island. It never evolved “anti-predator” defences and was poorly equipped to defend itself against introduced predators such as dogs, cats and mongooses. The species is probably also declining as a result of the loss of its forest habitat to logging.