Key region




Key Species Champion

Brawin Kumar

How this species is doing

Also known as the Elvira Rat (Cremnomys elvira), this species is listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 km² and its area of occupancy is probably less than 10 km², all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. Surveys by government agencies have not revealed the presence of this species in other adjacent localities. Recent surveys located the species in 2013 to 2014 in the Shervaroy hills.


There has been qualitative and quantitative decline in habitat condition at the rate of 20 to 50% during the past 10 years and a predicted rate of less than 20% in the next 20 years due to expansion of human settlements, tree felling for fuel wood collection, and changes in land use patterns. The mining and dumping of debris in the foothills of small hillocks in the reserve forest boundary might cause severe damage to the habitat, as well as uncontrolled grazing in the rocky areas which might also have a negative impact on the habitat.


It is listed in the Schedule V (considered as vermin) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is not known from any protected areas. There are no conservation actions on the ground. Immediate conservation actions are necessary to save the rocky habitat, and the site should be declared a Wildlife Sanctuary. The site and reserved forest should be protected as a “Safe zone” without any illegal activities such as mining. Research into the population structure, demography, and year-round monitoring is necessary. Research to understand the home range and ecology is in progress. Also the details of the habitat, site, and species must be included the Salem Forest Department action plans and local people and forest officials to undertake regular monitoring. This species is highly recommended for an urgent ex situ programme for insurance purposes.

Knowledge level

It is a nocturnal and fossorial species, which occurs in tropical dry deciduous scrub forest, where it is seen in rocky areas. In a recent survey, populations of C. elvira were found in rocky habitat living in rocky cliffs and the gaps between rocks, which were surrounded by sparse grass, herbs and tall trees. Research into the population trends of this species is required.