CHECKERED SENGI – Rhynchocyon cirnei


Checkered sengi facts: The checkered sengi adult has a head and body length of 9 to 12.5 inches (23.5 to 31.5 centimeters) and a tail length of 7 to 10 inches (19.0 to 26.3 centimeters).

Geographic range: The checkered sengi is found in northern and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, southern Tanzania, northeastern Zambia, Malawi, and northern Mozambique.

Checkered sengi habitat: Checkered sengis live in dense, lowland and mountain regions of tropical rainforest.

What does checkered sengi eat: Checkered sengis are mainly insectivores, meaning they eat primarily insects. Their diet includes ants, termites, and beetles. However, they have also been known to eat small mammals, birds, bird eggs, and snails.

Behavior and reproduction: Checkered sengis are primarily diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day, They can on occasion become nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night, especially during hot weather. They can live alone, in mated pairs, or in small groups. They are monogamous, meaning they have only one sexual partner for life. They are extremely nervous animals and are always on the lookout for predators, such as pythons and other snakes, and birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, owls, and kestrels. Checkered sengis have an average lifespan in the wild of three to five years.

Checkered sengis are territorial, meaning they are protective of an area they consider home and claim exclusively for themselves. Pairs of males and females usually have separate but overlapping territories. Individuals` sleep in nests made of small pits covered with leaves. Checkered sengis build new nests every few days, digging a shallow depression in the ground and lining and covering it with leaves. Once constructed, it is difficult for humans to detect. A pair may build up to ten shelters in their territories.

The checkered sengi breed year-round and have several litters per year. The gestation period, the time the female carries the young in her womb, is about forty-two days. The litter size is one baby, which stays in the nest for about ten days before going out with its mother to forage for food. It goes its own way after five to ten weeks.

Checkered sengis and people: Checkered sengis are of no known significance to humans.

Conservation status: The checkered sengi is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable, due primarily to severely fragmented populations and declining habitats.