Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Phalanger vestitus
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1877)
Common Name(s):
English Stein's Cuscus
French Couscous Noir
Taxonomic Notes: The four widely separated subpopulations of Phalanger vestitus are distinctive and its taxonomy needs to be re-evaluated (K. Helgen pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. The four subpopulations of this species, however, may represent four different species (see Taxonomic Notes). Some of these subpopulations if elevated to species would probably warrant a threatened status.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Rare (R)
1990 Rare (R)
1988 Rare (R)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). It is separated into four distinct subpopulations, each of which may be a distinct species. It has been recorded between 1,200 and 2,200 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Overall, this species is abundant. However, while some subpopulations are abundant and secure, others are probably under considerable threat.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in primary and slightly disturbed secondary upper montane tropical moist forests. It is believed to have a single young.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened in parts of its range by local hunting for food.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in a few protected areas. Further study into the taxonomy of this species (which may prove to be a species complex) is needed.

Citation: Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. 2008. Phalanger vestitus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16850A6503469. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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