Checklist, taxonomy and distribution of rodents in Ethiopia

Study provides updated knowledge of rodents in Ethiopia—including distribution maps of 40 species not previously known to occur in the country

Data resources used via GBIF : 4,299 species occurrences
Tachyoryctes macrocephalus
Giant root rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) observed in Bale, Ethiopia by janconl. Photo via iNaturalist (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Specialized to particular ecosystems and with low dispersal ability, rodents are generally good indicators of biodiversity levels. In eastern Africa, the geomorphologically diverse country of Ethiopia provides habitat for rich vertebrate fauna, yet the latest checklist of Ethiopian rodents is almost 25 years old.

Aimed at providing up-to-date knowledge on the biodiversity of rodents on Ethiopia, this paper compiles critically-reviewed data from literature, unpublished museum collections, field surveys and GBIF, providing maps of known distributions of 104 rodent species—including 40 species not included in the previous checklist (Yalden et al. 1996)

The study also produces complete taxonomic and ecological accounts for each species. The authors note the highest proportion of endemic species in the Ethiopian highlands and indicate that rodent diversity in Ethiopia is much higher than in other African countries of comparable size.

Original article

Bryja J, Meheretu Y, Šumbera R and Lavrenchenko LA (2019) Annotated checklist, taxonomy and distribution of rodents in Ethiopia. Folia Zoologica. Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 68(3): 117. Available at:

Yalden DW, Largen MJ, Kock D and Hillman JC (1996) Catalogue of the mammals of Ethiopia and Eritrea. 7. Revised checklist, zoogeography and conservation. Tropical Zoology. Informa UK Limited 9(1): 73–164. Available at: