Although they are little-known, the hutia and solenodon are some of the last surviving mammals of the Caribbean. A hefty rodent, the hutia spends its time grazing in trees like a giant arboreal hamster. While, the solenodon may be one of the world’s oddest creatures: a ‘living fossil’, the solenodon’s evolutionary origins goes back all the way to the time of dinosaurs.
Yet despite their unique place as among the few of the Caribbean’s last surviving mammals, neither the solenodon or the hutia have received much conservation or public attention. That is changing: a new conservation and research program is working directly with the hutia and solenodon on the island of Hispaniola (including both Haiti and the Dominican Republic). A new video introduces the species and the program.
To read more about the solenodon and the hutia: The Caribbean’s wonderfully weird (and threatened) mammals, an interview with Jose Nunez-Mino