Rattus burrus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Rattus burrus
Species Authority: (Miller, 1902)
Common Name(s):
English Miller’s Nicobar Rat, Nicobar Archipelago Rat, Nonsense Rat
Mus burrescens Miller, 1902
Mus burrulus Miller, 1902
Mus burrus Miller, 1902
Taxonomic Notes: Ellerman (1961) treated this species along with Rattus burrulus (Miller, 1902) and Rattus burrescens (Miller, 1902) as conspecific. Corbet and Hill (1992) synonymized all the three species under Rattus tiomanicus (Miller, 1900) with doubtful status, and further commented that the "inclusion of the forms on the Andaman Islands is tentative, although the three forms described from there, burrus, burrulus and burrescens, are very similar to each other and probably conspecific". Agrawal (2000) remarks this being close to Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758) and also mentions that the recent study by Musser and Heaney (1985) shows its affinity to Rattus tiomanicus (Miller, 1900).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Endangered, in view of its extent of occurrence of less than 5,000 km², with all individuals in fewer than five locations, and a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Nicobar group of Islands in India, where it is confined to the islands of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Trinket (Molur et al. 2005; Musser and Carleton 2005). Rattus palmarum and R. anadamanensis occur on Car Nicobar Island and not R. burrus as previously believed (Musser and Carleton 2005). The total area of the islands is less than 1,500 km². and the species is fragmented into three populations on as many islands.
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 11-500
Number of Locations: 3
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is little information available on the abundance of this species.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests (Molur et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The December 2004 tsunami has been observed to be the major threat for this species on the Nicobar islands. Post tsunami development, establishment and expansion of human settlements, conversion of forests into palm plantations are serious threats to the species (S. Molur pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place; it is not known if the species is present in any protected areas. Additional studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, general ecology and threats to this little-known species. Populations of this species should be monitored to record changes in abundance and distribution.

Citation: Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O. 2008. Rattus burrus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19325A8853106. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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