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Spiny Rats: Echimyidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Spiny Rat (proechimys Semispinosus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, SPINY RATS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

threatened eat iucn extinction

SPINY RAT (Proechimys semispinosus): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Spiny rats are found throughout southern Central America and northern and central South America, from southern Honduras to northern Argentina and Chile.

Spiny rats are mostly herbivores, meaning they eat only plants, although some species eat insects. Their diet includes fruits, nuts, grass, and sugar cane. Several species, including rato de Taquara, eat only bamboo shoots and leaves.

Several species are hunted and eaten by humans, some are killed by farmers who consider them agricultural pests, and several species are used as laboratory animals.

The IUCN lists three species of spiny rats as Extinct, or died out; one species as Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction; five species as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild; and nine species are Near Threatened, not currently threatened, but could become so. The remaining species are not listed as threatened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

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