It’s not often you get to see any of these amazing little creatures, but when you do it is always greeted with amazement. If you love your Moles, Voles, and Shrews you will love this post featuring ten of the rarest species of them and where on this Earth you might get to see them…
The Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi)
This wonderful little creature has sadly been affected by a lot of deforestation and while there are a lot of subspecies around the world this one in the Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew has been hit the hardest and is the most endangered of all of them.
The Star-nosed Mole (Condylura cristata)
It might look like something out of preditor, but it is a real species of mole. While the species as a whole is not endangered the ones found in the Great Smoky Mountains (as high as 1676 meters) are disappearing due to the conditions at that height getting dryer and dryer and this means a lack of worms and other things they like to eat.
The Golden Mole (Chrysochloris asiatica)
Have you ever heard the saying “blind as a mole”? If you have it might well refer to all moles, but this one the Golden Mole has no eyes at all! Well…that is not true in fact. They do have eyes, but they are covered by skin which makes them invisible. While it is not critically endangered its numbers are in decline due to more intensive farming.
The Mediterranean Water Shrew (Neomys anomalus)
While most species of Water Shrew are not endangered this one is and it is also one of the worlds only venomous shrews! If you get a small nip from one of these you will become very ill indeed. So when on holiday in Spain and Italy and other parts of Europe do keep an eye out it night walking in fields.
The Père David’s Mole (Talpa davidiana)
This mole is only found in the Kurdistan Province of Iran and is named after the zoologist Armand David. It is thought that its numbers are very low, but being an underground creature no-one knows for sure and sadly there are no plans for any sort of conservation effort.
The Anderson’s Shrew Mole (Uropsilus andersoni)
While this species is mostly found in China it has also been seen in other parts of the world including Africa. Its name is in honour of American scientific collector Malcolm Playfair Anderson and it is also one of the smallest and therefore hardest to count.
The Inquisitive Shrew Mole (Uropsilus investigator)
It has been hard to count the exact numbers of this species because they have been moving about a lot. While they were once only found in the Yunnan province of China they are now found on the border into Burma and it is thought they are also suffering from intensive farming in their home area.
The Cabrera’s Vole (Microtus cabrerae)
This is one of only a handful of vole species that have no known recognised subspecies making it quite unique. Due to rising temperatures in Spain and Portugal, this species ha found it harder and harder to find food and its numbers have dropped drastically in the last few years.
The Red Tree Vole (Arborimus longicaudus)
This is another species that is becoming extinct due to deforestation in its natural area of northern California. The good news is that it is pretty easy to discover and count because they are the only species of voles that make small pines of pine needles where they eat.
The Beach Vole (Microtus breweri)
And we finish this list with a sand loving animal that is sadly very low in numbers and one of the worlds rarest voles. The Massachusetts and Marthas Vineyard are its home these days as the species had to more inland due to coastal erosion and tidal buildup.