Mammalian Biology

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

State of knowledge and potential distribution of the Colombian endemic brown hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou vestitus (Rodentia)

  • Héctor E. Ramírez-ChavesEmail author
  • María M. Torres-Martínez
  • Elkin A. Noguera-Urbano
  • Fernando C. Passos
  • Javier E. Colmenares-Pinzóna
Original investigation


The brown hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou vestitus is a small-sized endemic species, poorly studied since its description more than 11 Oyears ago. It is known from only five localities in the Andes of Colombia. Here, we update the state of knowledge, and provide information on the known and potential distribution of this rare species. We reviewed the literature and examined both specimens from natural history collections and photographs from the field to identify unreported localities. Additionally, we used environmental niche modelling to identify similar environmental conditions to those of the known localities. We also provided a genetic verification of the most recent vouchered record by means of a cytochrome-b sequence. We found 14 published works related to C. vestitus with “Taxonomy and Systematics”, and “Biogeography, distribution and records” as the most common (11 publications) topics. Its occurrence was confirmed at six localities in the Eastern Cordillera, and one locality is considered dubious. The records and the potential distribution indicate that C. vestitus is distributed in the montane ecosystems of the Central and Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. The cytochrome-b sequence constitutes the second and most complete molecular record of the species. Our results show that C. vestitus is one of the least studied porcupines, and it has the most restricted distribution in America. It might be considered the rarest species of the genus, therefore further research to better understand the different aspects of the ecology and the conservation status of this rare porcupine are urgent.


Andes Distribution models Ecology Taxonomy Vouchers 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Héctor E. Ramírez-Chaves
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • María M. Torres-Martínez
    • 2
  • Elkin A. Noguera-Urbano
    • 3
  • Fernando C. Passos
    • 2
  • Javier E. Colmenares-Pinzóna
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias Bíológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de CaldasManizales, CaldasColombia
  2. 2.Laboratório de Biodiversidade, Conservação e Ecologia de Animais Silvestres (LABCEAS), Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e ConservaçãoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigatión de Recursos BiológicosAlexander von HumboldtBogotá, D.C.Colombia
  4. 4.Grupo de Estudios en Biodiversidad, Escuela de BiologíaUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramanga, SantanderColombia
  5. 5.Laboratorio de Ecología, Escuela de BiologíaUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramanga, SantanderColombia
  6. 6.Centro de Museos, Museo de Historia NaturalUniversidad de Caldas.Manizales, CaldasColombia

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