Melomys talaudium 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Melomys talaudium
Species Authority: (Thomas, 1921)
Common Name(s):
English Long-tailed Talaud Melomys
Taxonomic Notes: Morphologically similar to M. leucogaster (Menzies 1996). Originally described as a species, but Rümmler (1938) and Ellerman (1941) treated talaudium as a subspecies of M. leucogaster, Musser and Carleton (1993) listed it in the synonymy of that species, and Laurie and Hill (1954) arranged it as a subspecies of M. fulgens. Tate (1951) recognized talaudium as a distinct species as have Flannery (1995) and Menzies (1996). It is sympatric with M. caurinus, which has a shorter tail relative to head and body length, suggesting that M. caurinus may be terrestrial and M. talaudium arboreal (Flannery 1995, Thomas 1921).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Helgen, K. & Aplin, K.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Endangered as it has a range of around 1,000 km2, is known from only two locations, and is believed to be undergoing continuing decline in its area of occupancy and the extent and quality of its habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found only on Karakeland and Salebabu in the Talaud Islands, Indonesia (Helgen 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is known only from a handful of specimens, and there is no information available on current population status.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is sympatric with Melomys caurinus. It is thought (due to tail size) that Melomys talaudium is arboreal, and M. caurinus is terrestrial, while other similarities point towards a common ancestor between these two species (Flannery 1995; Musser and Carleton 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is likely to be habitat loss as a result of deforestation due to logging. It may also be impacted by competition with introduced murids.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in Karakelang Utara dan Selatan Wildlife Reserve. There is a need for further survey work to determine the current population status of this species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
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

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Ellerman, J. R. 1941. The families and genera of living rodents. Vol. II. Family Muridae. British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Flannery, T. F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Australian Museum/Reed Books, Chatswood.

Helgen, K. M. 2003. A review of the rodent fauna of Seram, Moluccas, with the description of a new subspecies of mosaic-tailed rat, Melomys rufescens paveli. Journal of Zoology (London) 261: 165-172.

Laurie, E. M. O. and Hill, J. E. 1954. List of land mammals of New Guinea, Celebes and adjacent islands 1758-1952. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Menzies, J. I. 1996. A systematic revision of Melomys (Rodentia: Muridae) of New Guinea. Australian Journal of Zoology 44: 367-426.

Musser, G. G. and Carleton, M. D. 1993. Family Muridae. In: D. E. Wilson and D. A. Reeder (eds), Mammal species of the world: A taxonomic and geographic reference, pp. 501-736. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

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.

Rümmler, H. 1938. Die Systematik und Verbreitung der Muriden Neuguineas. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologische Museum 23: 1-297.

Tate, G. H. H. 1951. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 65. The rodents of Australia and New Guinea. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 97: 183-430.

Thomas, O. 1921. On a collection of rats and shrews from the Dutch East Indian Islands. Treubia 2: 109-114.

Citation: Helgen, K. & Aplin, K. 2008. Melomys talaudium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136320A4274183. . Downloaded on 29 May 2016.
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