Dinagat Gymnure
(Podogymnura aureospinula)
Belonging to the same family as hedgehogs and gymnures, the Dinagat moonrat has stiff bristly or spiny fur on its back, which is generally golden brown with black speckling. Little is known about the ecology of the species. It occurs in both primary and secondary dipterocarp forests, but may be at risk from logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and mining.
Urgent Conservation Actions
Surveys to determine status, research into habitat requirements and threats, so that appropriate conservation recommendations can be produced.
Dinagat, Siargao and Bucas Grande (Philippines).
The specific name aureospinula refers to the golden spines that characterise the dorsal fur of this species.
Evolutionary Distinctiveness
Order: Erinaceomorpha
Family: Erinaceidae
The family Erinaceidae consists of hedgehogs (subfamily Erinaceinae), and moonrats or gymnures (subfamily Hylomyinae). Hedgehogs can be easily distinguished from moonrats and gymnures by their barbless spines which cover their backs and sides. The Hylomyinae resemble primitive rodents with long muzzles. All members of this subfamily lack spines. Fossil erinaceids are known from the middle Paleocene to the early Pliocene in North America (60-7 million years ago). The family also dates back to the early Miocene (25 million years ago) in Africa, the late Paleocene (55 million years ago) in Europe, and the Eocene (45 million years ago) in Asia. The Hylomyinae comprises eight species in three genera (Echinosorex, Podogymnura and Hylomys). The genus Podogymnura contains two species: P. aureospinula and P. truei, both of which are restricted to the southern Philippines. These species are thought to be most closely related to the moonrat (Echinosorex gymnura), which is found on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.
Head and body length: 190-211 mm
Tail length: 59-73 mm
Weight: Unknown
The Dinagat moonrat has stiff bristly or spiny fur on its back, which is generally golden brown with black speckling. The underparts lack spines and are mostly brownish-grey. The ears are relatively large and sparsely covered with short white or dark brown hairs.
Nothing is known about the ecology of this species.
This species lives in old growth lowland rainforest, second-growth forest, and "bonsai" forest (a low productivity area with stunted trees which are not economically valuable). On all three islands, it appears to be moderately tolerant of habitat disturbance. On the Bucas Grande, the species occurs in disturbed forest on limestone, and in patchy areas of forest adjacent to agricultural areas. It persists in reasonable numbers in fairly heavily degraded areas for example at edges of farms, but it does not occur where good forest is not nearby, or in areas completely dominated by humans.
Occurs on the islands of Dinagat, Siargao and Bucas Grande in the Philippines.
Population Estimate
Population Trend
Classified as Endangered (EN B2ab(ii,iii)) on the 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The species original distribution has been and continues to be reduced by logging and firewood collection. Habitat loss due to mining of nickel and chromite in the remaining old-growth area is a threat in addition to quarrying of limestone for road building. The forest area of Dinagat is less than 50 km2 and the entire island is a mining concession.
Conservation Underway
There are no conservation measures in place.
Conservation Proposed
The 1996 IUCN/SSC Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews Action Plan recommends that field surveys be carried out to determine the status of this species. Research on the habitat requirements and threats facing the species are necessary to plan future conservation actions.  Effective protected areas need to be established.
Balete, D., Tabao, M. & Tabaranza, B. 2008. Podogymnura aureospinula. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 14 November 2010.

Chicago Field Museum: A Synopsis of the Mammalian Fauna of the Philippine Islands

Heaney, L. 2005 (pers. comm.).

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Sixth edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Stone, D. (Compiler). 1996. Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews: Status, Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Insectivore, Tree Shrew and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Distribution map based on data provided by the IUCN Global Mammal Assessment.

if you can provide new information to update this species account or to correct any errors, please email us at info@edgeofexistence.org

Forum comments

There are as yet no comments for this species.

Add a comment

You must log in to post. If you don't have a login, it's easy to register.