A rufous elephant shrew in Kenya

Rufous elephant shrew

Rufous elephant shrews are small mouse-like animals found on the plains, savannas and forest floors of east Africa. Their long mobile snouts can be moved around much like an elephant's trunk in their endless search for ants, termites and worms. These shrews are escape specialists: they make a series of pathways away from their nests which they shoot down rapidly at the first signs of a predator.

Scientific name: Elephantulus rufescens

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • East African long-eared elephant shrew,
  • Rufous sengi

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Map showing the distribution of the Rufous elephant shrew taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Rufous elephant shrew can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Rufous elephant shrew distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Macroscelidea
  6. Elephant shrews
  7. Elephantulus
  8. Rufous elephant shrew

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