Phalanger orientalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Phalanger orientalis (Pallas, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Common Cuscus, Common Phalanger, Grey Cuscus
French Couscous De La Sonde, Couscous Gris
Spanish Cuscús Gris, Cuscús Oriental

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-06-15
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A., Hamilton, S., Salas, L. & Dickman, C.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to degraded areas, lack of major threats, and because it is unlikely to be declining.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed from the islands of Timor (Indonesia and Timor Leste), Wetar and Leti (both to Indonesia) through the Kai Islands and a number of the Moluccan Islands of Indonesia (including: Ambon, Buru, and Seram); it is present on the islands of Misool, Waigeo, Batanta, and Salawati (all Indonesia), and ranges over much of the northern part of the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), including a number of offshore islands. It ranges as far east as the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, where it is present on many islands including the islands of New Britain and New Ireland. It also occurs on many of the Solomon Islands.

Many of the insular island populations are the result of prehistorical introductions, possibly including: Timor, Seram, Buru, Sanana, the Kai Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Solomon Island chain.
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands; Timor-Leste
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is an extremely abundant species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs primarily in disturbed habitats such as secondary forest, plantations, and gardens. The species is also present in primary tropical forest. The female usually gives birth to two young.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. It is threatened in some parts of its range by hunting for food by local people and by collection for the pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in a number of protected areas. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy and distribution of this species.
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

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
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Colgan, D., Flannery, T. F., Trimble, J. and Aplin, K. 1993. Electrophoretic and morphological analysis of the systematics of the Phalanger orientalis (Marsupialia) species complex in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Australian Journal of Zoology 41: 355-378.

Flannery, T.F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Comstock/Cornell, Ithaca, Ny, USA.

Flannery, T.F. 1995. The Mammals of New Guinea, 2nd edition. Reed Books, Sydney, Australia.

Heinsohn, T. 2003. Animal translocation: long-term human influences on the vertebrate zoogeography of Australasia (natural dispersal versus ethnophoresy). Australian Zoologist 32: 351-376.

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

Menzies, J. I. 1991. Handbook of New Guinea Marsupials and Monotremes. Kristen Press, Inc., Madang.

Menzies, J. I and Pernetta, J. C. 1987. A taxonomic revision of cuscuses allied to Phalanger orientalis (Marsupialia: Phalangeridae). Journal of Zoology (London) 1: 551-618.

Norris, C. A. and Musser, G. G. 2001. Systematic revision within the Phalanger orientalis complex (Diprotodontia, Phalangeridae): a third species of Lowland Gray Cuscus from New Guinea and Australia. American Museum Novitates 3356: 20 pp.

Citation: Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A., Hamilton, S., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. 2016. Phalanger orientalis. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16847A21951519. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided