Rock-Hyrax sitting on rock in the grass

Rock hyrax

Procavia capensis
Conservation Status IUCN
Least Concern

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endangered list labels least concern
endangered list least concern sign
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    Animal Class
    Mammal, Hyracoidea
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    Their habitats range from dry savannah to dense rainforest.
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    Herbivores – Diet consists mainly of leafy matter. They will also strip the bark of twigs and trees.
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    Conservation Status
    Least concern – Rock hyrax are widespread and abundant in most of their range.
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  • Introduction

    Rock hyrax are closely related to Elephants!
    Rock hyrax are a terrestrial Mammal and can also be called a ‘Rock Dassie’.

    Upon first appearance a hyrax could be mistaken for a rodent, surprisingly they are members of the clade Paenungulata, making them more closely related to elephants and manatees than any other group of mammals.

    Unlike other browsing mammals, they do not use their incisor teeth to slice off leaves; they use their molar teeth at the rear of their mouth.

    Rock Hyrax are not ruminants but have a multichambered stomach that allows bacteria to break down tough plant matter.

    Size: Adults head and body are from 30cm to 50cm in length with their tails ranging from 10cm to 25cm. They are quite heavy animals, for their size, ranging from 3.5kg to 4kg in weight.

  • Threats/ Conservation

    Least concern:

    Although the populations are stable, in some parts of its range, the Rock hyrax is hunted for its meat and skin. Urban development and agriculture expansion are also contributing to the pressure on wildlife for survival.

  • Habitat

    Rock hyrax can be found in Africa and the middle east around Arabian Peninsula up to Lebanon. In East Africa, they are found at sea level and all the way up to altitudes of more than 4,000 meters (14,000 feet).

    Their habitats range from dry savanna to dense rain forest to cold Afro-alpine moorland. They live along rock faces inhabiting rock crevices which they use to escape predators.

  • Fun Facts

    One territorial male will protect a harem of 3 to 7 females, with whom he will mate. After a gestation period, of 7-8 months, the females will give birth to 2-4 young, The young are well developed at birth with fully opened eyes.

    Rock hyrax will use designated latrines. As time goes on the accumulation of faeces and urine congeals into a large solid. This substance can be used in several applications including perfume production.