Maxomys whiteheadi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Maxomys whiteheadi
Species Authority: (Thomas, 1894)
Common Name(s):
English Whitehead’s Sundaic Maxomys, Whitehead's Spiny Rat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-04
Assessor(s): Ruedas, L.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Aplin, K. & Lunde, D.P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Clayton, E.
This species is assessed as Vulnerable as it is believed to have undergone a decline of more than 30% over the last 10 years as inferred from rate of forest loss in the region, particularly in the lowlands of Sumatra and Borneo.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in peninsular Thailand (south of the Isthmus of Kra), the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, and other islands off the northern coast of Borneo (Musser and Carleton 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand
Additional data:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Upper elevation limit (metres):2100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is reported to be restricted to disturbed areas in primary forest and is often the most common small mammal found in logged forests in Sabah, Borneo (occurring at 6-16 individuals/ha) (Wearn pers. comm). However, little population information is known for this species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a terrestrial species found in forest, as well as in rice paddies (but only where surrounded by forest) (Payne et al. 1985). It is mostly a lowland species on Borneo, but can be found as high as 2,100 m asl (Nor 2001, Musser and Carleton 2005). Wilson et al. (2006) reported this species in an acacia plantation and in a fragmented forest in Borneo. Records also suggest that this species can occur in mangrove swamp and secondary forest at Kuala Selangor State Park (Chuluun et al. 2005). This species is also found in oil palm habitats in Sabah, Borneo, and although found at low densities (less than 1 individual/ha), it may be more abundant than other small mammals found in this habitat. Also found in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Borneo (Wearn pers. comm.).
Generation Length (years):1.7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No use and trade information is available for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is widespread habitat loss in the lowlands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is recorded from several protected areas, such as Mt. Kinabalu National Park. It has recently been found during surveys of Gunung Stong State Park, Kelantan, and Wang Kelian State Park, Perlis, in Malaysia (Jayaraj et al. 2012, Jayaraj et al. 2013).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Chuluun, B., Mariana, A., T. Ho and Mohd Kulaimi, B. 2005. A preliminary survey of ectoparasites of small mammals in Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Tropical Biomedicine 22(2): 243-24.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Jayaraj, V.K., Muhamad Daud, S.H., Azhar, M. Mohd Sah, M., Mokhtar, S.I., and Abdullah, M.T. 2013. Diversity and Conservation status of Mammals in Wang Kelian State Park, Perlis, Malaysia. CheckList 9(6): 1439-1448.

Jayaraj, V.K., Tahir, N.F.D.A., Udin, N.A., Baharin, N.F.K., Ismail, S.K., and Zakaria, S.N.A. 2012. Species diversity of small mammals at Gunung Stong State Park, Kelantan, Malaysia. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(6): 2617-2628.

Musser, G.G. and Carleton, M.D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D.E. Wilson and D.A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Nor, S.M. 2001. Elevational diversity patterns of small mammals on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10(1): 41-62.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Payne, J., Francis, C.M. and Phillipps, K. 1985. A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society and WWF Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Wilson, D.E., Helgen, K.M., Chin, S.Y. and Giman B. 2006. Small mammal survey at two sites in planted forest zone, Bintulu, Sarawak. Malayan Nature Journal 52(2): 165-187.

Citation: Ruedas, L. 2016. Maxomys whiteheadi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T12907A22455267. . Downloaded on 24 April 2017.
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