Tuesday, 23 August 2016

In search of a lost species: the Santa Marta Toro

17 August 2016 / Shreya Dasgupta

The rare, fuzzy rodent, the Santa Marta Toro, was re-discovered in 2011 after 113 years, and has been missing ever since. Mongabay interviews Nicolette Roach, a PhD student, who has been combing through the El Dorado Reserve in Colombia in search of the
Santamartamys, David Valle Martinez.jpgNicolette (Nikki) Roach, a PhD Student at Texas A&M University, is on a mission to find the elusive Santa Marta Toro again.

The tiny rodent was last spotted in 2011, for the first time in 113 years.
Roach says that finding and gathering data on the Toro would be a huge symbol of hope for conservation.

In May 2011, two volunteer researchers had an unexpected visitor at the El Dorado Nature Reserve Ecotourism lodge in northwestern Colombia.

A rare, tiny rodent called the Santa Marta Toro or the Santa Marta Tree Rat (Santamartyamys rufodorsalis) appeared at the porch of the lodge, posed for photographs for nearly two hours, and then shuffled back into the forest. The Toro had been spotted again, for the first time in 113 years. Only two other specimens of the Toro exist, collected by scientists in 1898.

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