Spilocuscus rufoniger 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Spilocuscus rufoniger
Species Authority: (Zimara, 1937)
Common Name(s):
English Black-spotted Cuscus
French Couscous À Taches Noires
Taxonomic Notes: Synonym = Phalanger atrimaculatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-06-15
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Allison, A., James, R., Flannery, T., Aplin, K., Dickman, C. & Salas, L.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Pacifici, M.
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a suspected population decline in excess of 80% over three generations (i.e., 15 years) (the last five years and next ten years) due to levels of exploitation and habitat loss (especially oil palm concessions and logging concessions).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread, though patchily distributed, in the northern part of the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). Most of the records are very old. It has been recorded from sea level to 1,200 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Spilocuscus rufoniger is a rare species. It has been extirpated from parts of its range through overhunting and its intolerance to human disturbance.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species prefers primary lowland and lower-montane tropical forests. It is also less commonly found in secondary forest. It is most likely to be nocturnal (L. Salas pers. comm.).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food and cultural reasons.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by preferential hunting by local people for food and cultural reasons, and also by conversion of forest to cultivated land. While it has declined where it comes into contact with people, a large part of its range is uninhabited. The west Papuan area has been impacted by the influx of Javan people, and large areas of habitat have been transformed by agriculture. There are also logging concessions and oil palm activities planned for parts of the area.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in several protected areas in Indonesia and a management area in Papua New Guinea. There is a need to conserve important populations of this species. Public awareness and hunting restrictions will be essential for the conservation of this species. Further research into its numbers, distribution, ecology, threats, harvest levels, and conservation measures are all important.

Citation: Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Allison, A., James, R., Flannery, T., Aplin, K., Dickman, C. & Salas, L. 2016. Spilocuscus rufoniger. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T20639A21949788. . Downloaded on 24 October 2016.
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