Sundasciurus hippurus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Sundasciurus hippurus (I. Geoffroy, 1831)
Common Name(s):
English Horse-tailed Squirrel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-11-07
Assessor(s): Meijaard, E.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Francis, C.M. & Han, K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kennerley, R., Gerrie, R.
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is experiencing habitat loss throughout its range, but given that it can be found in secondary forest, it does not meet the threshold of at least 30% population decline inferred from continuing habitat loss. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2c.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the lowland areas of peninsular Thailand and Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra.
Countries occurrence:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Thailand
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common in suitable habitat, though it is not often recorded (Han and Giman pers. comm.). This species was the second most abundant of its genus found in a survey conducted by Saiful and Nordin (2004) in Peninsular Malaysia (Weng River sub-catchment), with a density of 3.93 ± 2.33 individuals/km². In general, this species is found at low densities in unlogged forest in Malaysia. In Danum Valley, Sabah, Norhayati (2001) found 19.9 individuals/km², while Zainuddin et al. (1996) found 2.42 individuals/km² in Nanga Gaat, Sarawak. The species decreased in density in 3 out of 4 sites after logging (Meijaard and Sheil 2008).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It prefers primarily lowland forest, but is also found in secondary forests, though in declining number. It is typically found on the ground and lower in trees (Han pers. comm). This is a diurnal and arboreal species (Saiful and Nordin 2004), but it often descends to the ground (Han pers. comm). It has been suggested that one of the reasons for low densities of this species in Malaysian tropical rain forest is competition from the great variety of other arboreal vertebrates (such as birds, and especially primates) for food, especially fruits and leaves, which are among the food items preferred by squirrels (Saiful and Nordin, 2004). In one study it was only captured in undisturbed continuous forest and not in disturbed fragments (Charles and Ang 2010), in another there was a single capture in 13 year old logged forest and none in unlogged or oil palm plantations in north Borneo (Bernard et al. 2009), and 6 were captured in unlogged forest and one in logged forest in Borneo (Wells et al. 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by habitat loss due to logging and agricultural conversion (Han pers. comm). Forest loss estimates show two extreme areas of deforestation in insular Southeast Asia and these are the eastern lowlands of Sumatra and the peatlands of Sarawak state in Borneo (Miettinen et al. 2011). Almost all commercially licensed forests of Sabah, Borneo, and particularly its lowland forests, had been logged to near exhaustion by 2014, whilst protected areas have expanded (Reynolds et al. 2011). Annual habitat loss rates on the Malay Peninsula, and in Sumatra and Borneo varied between 0.9% to 2.7% between 2000 and 2010 (Miettinen et al. 2011). Loss of dense, closed canopy forest between 0 and 1,500 m asl on Borneo totalled 63% between 1973 and 2010, indicating loss annual rates of 1.7% (Gaveau et al. 2014). Hunting for this sizeable species would likely increase rates of decline in most places which hunters can access (E. Meijaard pers. comm).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is found in several protected areas, including Pasoh Forest Reserve (Han pers. comm.). Saiful and Nordin (2004) state the need for further comparative study on this species' abundance, density and distribution and its relationship to forest structure or habitat quality, spatially and temporally, in hill dipterocarp forest of Malaysia.

Citation: Meijaard, E. 2017. Sundasciurus hippurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T21155A22250415. . Downloaded on 22 October 2017.
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