Callosciurus pygerythrus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Callosciurus pygerythrus
Species Authority: (I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1832)
Common Name(s):
English Hoary-bellied Squirrel, Irrawaddy Squirrel
Taxonomic Notes: Past careless has generated unnecessary confusion surrounding the distribution of this species and Callosciurus inornatus. There are no records of C. inornatus from west of the Mekong, nor any of C. pygerythrus from east of the Mekong (most indeed are from west of the Irrawaddy).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-19
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Lunde, D.P., Molur, S., Shrestha, N., Sarkar, S., Lee, B. & Tizard, R.J
This species is listed as Least Concern in because of its wide distribution, known very large population, occurrence in many protected areas, widespread tolerance to high degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widely distributed species is present in northeastern South Asia, southern China and western Southeast Asia: its entire distribution lies west of the Mekong, and almost all west of the Irrawaddy. In South Asia, this species is widely distributed in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal at elevations of 500 to 1,560 m a.s.l.; it occurs mostly east of the Brahmaputra but also extends long the southern Himalayan foothills to central Nepal (Moore and Tate 1965, Choudhury 2013, Thapa et al. in press). In China, it has apparently been recorded only from south-eastern Xizang (southern part Medog) but given the known distribution south of China it is likely also to occur in Yunnan province west of the River Mekong (Wang 2003). In Southeast Asia, it is confined to western and central Myanmar, largely west of the Sittang-Irrawaddy system but east of this in a small area around Mandalay (Moore and Tate 1965). Many sources (e.g. Smith and Xie 2008) portray the species as inhabiting China east of the Mekong and indeed soma (e.g. Thorington and Hoffman 2005) include Viet Nam. These errors result from past treatment of C. inornatus as a race of C. pygerythrus.
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; China; India; Myanmar; Nepal
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1560
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is common in India, in Nepal (Thapa et al. in press), Bangladesh and Myanmar (Datta and Nandini 2014, Thapa et al. in press, J. W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2016). In north-east India, measured 'relative abundance' ranged from 0.11 to 1.58 per km, with density higher in plantations (10.14 individuals per km2) and in heavily logged forests (23.4 per km2) than in lightly logged forest (1.85 per km2) and in unlogged primary forests (2.72 per km2) (Datta and Nandini 2014).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This diurnal species occurs in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and edge and degraded areas derived from them, including gardens, shifting cultivation fallows and plantations; densities are higher in heavily degraded habitats than in little-encroached ones (Datta and Nandini 2014). It consumes flowers, fruits, bark, seed, leaves, insects and lichen and, occasionally, vertebrate meat. Bombax ceiba (flowers and fruits), Chukrasia tabularis (fruits), Dyabanga grandiflora (flowers), Pterospermum acerifolium (bark) and Kydia calycina (bark) have been identified as important resources (Datta and Nandini 2014).

Dreys are made of leafy twigs and branches (Datta and Nandini 2014) Relative abundance ranged from 0.11 to 1.58 per km, and density was higher in disturbed forests (plantations: 10.14 per km2, logged forests: 23.4 per km2) than intact forests (logged forests: 1.85 per km2, unlogged primary forests: 2.72 per km2). They were also recorded at heights below 10 m in most.
Generation Length (years):4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In some of the species' range, rural consumption of squirrels as food is high.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats at the species or even population level, although in some areas hunting is intensive enough to drive major declines in density an extirpation from very small habitat patches. Although it cannot survive in treeless landscapes and is therefore disappearing from such areas, the ongoing extensive encroachment of remaining forest is likely to increase numbers in such areas. The balance between those two factors is not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed in the Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It occurs in many protected areas (Molur et al. 2005, Thapa et al. in press).

Citation: Duckworth, J.W. 2016. Callosciurus pygerythrus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T3604A22253451. . Downloaded on 01 October 2016.
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