Very little is known about the Cuvier’s hutia, although in the isolated areas they are found they are considered agricultural pests.
Hutias belong to the rodent family Capromyidae, which is endemic to the islands of the West Indies and represents an ancient, formerly diverse evolutionary radiation. Cuvier’s hutia is the only living member of its genus, Plagiodontia. It is often persecuted as a crop pest, and also opportunistically hunted for food in Haiti. Invasive species also threaten them, with mongoose, cats, dogs and rats preying on or competing with Cuvier’s hutia. Increased habitat destruction has also added to the pressure on Cuvier’s hutia, resulting in reduced population sizes.
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Capromyidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 31cm
- Weight: 1.2kg
Cuvier’s hutias are known from a few isolated areas on Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Habitat and Ecology
The Cuvier’s hutia inhabit subtropical and tropical forest, as well as rocky areas. They are herbivores, eating plants and local crops. They produce a single young after a gestation of 119 days, and individuals communicate through soft, almost bird-like chirps.