Melomys talaudium 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Melomys talaudium (Thomas, 1921)
Common Name(s):
English Long-tailed Talaud Melomys
Taxonomic Notes: Melomys talaudium is morphologically similar to Melomys leucogaster (Menzies 1996). Originally it was 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: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-05
Assessor(s): Clayton, E.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Helgen, K. & Aplin, K.
Melomys taladium is endemic to Indonesia. it is assessed as Endangered as it has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of approximately 1,577 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 caused by deforestation.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found only on Karakeland and Salebabu in the Talaud Islands, Indonesia (Helgen 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1577
Number of Locations:2
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).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
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 and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Unspecified MURIDAE ]
♦ 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 Mollocan Islands. Reed Books, Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia.

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.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

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: Clayton, E. 2016. Melomys talaudium (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136320A115205515. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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