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Sengis: Macroscelidea

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Checkered Sengi (rhynchocyon Cirnei): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SENGIS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

CHECKERED SENGI (Rhynchocyon cirnei): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Sengis are found throughout Africa except western Africa and the Sahara Desert region. They are most common and diverse in southern and eastern Africa.

Sengis live in deciduous forest, rainforest, grassland, and desert areas of Africa, especially where there is an abundance of water. They are found in the thick ground cover of coastal bush forests, rocky outcroppings, and highland and lowland forests.

Sengis are insectivores, meaning they eat primarily insects. Their diet of insects includes ants, termites, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, and worms. However, several species are omnivores, meaning they eat insects, flesh, and plants. Their diet includes toads, frogs, lizards, fruits, seeds, and plants. One species, the golden-rumped sengi, is an omnivore, meaning it eats only flesh, mainly insects and small animals.

Sengis are sometimes hunted in areas of Africa for their meat. Since they eat mostly insects, they help control insects such as termites, ants, and grasshoppers, that are problems for farmers because of the damage the insects cause to crops.

Three species of sengi are listed by IUCN as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction: Somali sengi, the golden-rumped sengi, and the black and rufous sengi. One species is listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction: the checkered sengi. The reasons for the listings are severely fragmented populations and declining habitats. No other species are listed as currently threatened.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals