IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group

Formed in 2011, the IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group (SMSG) is an expanding global network of scientists and conservationists who share a passion for the world’s rodents, shrews, moles, solenodons, hedgehogs and tree-shrews. Their volunteer members conduct fieldwork and lab research and donate their time and knowledge to improve the world’s scientific understanding of the taxonomy, ecology and conservation status of over 2,800 of these often poorly known species.


Largest rodent

The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay has a head and body length of 1–1.3m (3 ft 3 in–4 ft 3 in) and weighs up to 79 kg (174 lb). About the size of a medium dog, capybaras live in wetland areas of Central and South America. They divide their time between the water, wallowing in mud and grazing on the banks and their bodies are perfectly adapted for a semi‑aquatic lifestyle.