|Scientific Name:||Ratufa macroura|
|Species Authority:||(Pennant, 1769)|
Ratufa macroura Phillips, 1931 subspecies sinhala
Ratufa macrurus Blyth, 1859 subspecies albipes
Sciurus ceilonensis Boddaert, 1785
Sciurus ceylonensis Erxleben, 1777
Sciurus ceylonica (Erxleben, 1777)
Sciurus macrourus Pennant, 1769
Sciurus macrourus Kelaart, 1852 variety monatnus
Sciurus macrourus (Kelaart, 1852) variety montana
Sciurus macrura Blanford, 1891
Sciurus tennentii Blyth, 1849
Sciurus zeyllanicus Day, 1693
|Taxonomic Notes:||There are three very distinct subspecies, with one present in India and all three present in Sri Lanka. Ellerman (1961) listed three subspecies that were accepted later by Moore and Tate (1965), Phillips (1981) and Corbet and Hill (1992).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Joshua, J., de A. Goonatilake, W.I.L.D.P.T.S. & Molur, S.|
|Reviewer(s):||Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)|
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years or three generations) because of habitat loss and hunting throughout much of its range. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2c. Remaining populations in India appears to be significantly more threatened than populations in Sri Lanka.
|Range Description:||This species is endemic to southern India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and Sri Lanka. In India it is known from only five severely fragmented locations, while it occurs more widely and less fragmented in Sri Lanka (Molur et al. 2005). It ranges in elevations of 150 to 500 m asl in India and up to 2,500 m asl in Sri Lanka.|
Native:India; Sri Lanka
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||Within India, the total population in Chinnar and adjoining Tamil Nadu is about 300 individuals. In addition the most southerly population has 300 individuals, the second most southernly population about 200 individulals. The most northerly population, Kartanar, had about 6 squirrels in 1989 and 3 individuals in 2001. The population in India in the north is decreasing, the population in the south is increasing (J. Joshua pers. comm.). The Indian population has been estimated to be fewer than 500 mature individuals, and the population has been decling at a rate greater than 30% in the last 25 years and is also predicted to decline at the same rate in the next 25 years due to habitat loss and hunting (Molur et al. 2005). The population of this species is considerably higher in Sri Lanka.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It is a diurnal and arboreal species. It occurs in tropical dry deciduous and montane forests, where it is confined to the riverine habitats (Molur et al. 2005). It has a generation time of ~7-8 years.|
|Major Threat(s):||Habitat loss and degradation due to agro-industry farming, small-scale logging, selective logging, increase in human settlements, forest fire, inter-specific competition, competition from alien species, hunting for local consumption purposes, presence of domestic predators have been observed to be the major threats for this species in South Asia (Molur et al. 2005). Within India, hybridization between this species and Ratufa indica is considered to be a major threat to remaining populations (Joshua 1996).|
|Conservation Actions:||This species is listed under the Schedule II (Part II) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972 and 1991), and is listed on CITES Appendix II regulating international trade in this species. It is known from the following protected areas in India and Sri Lanka - India: Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala; Sri Lanka: Horton Plains National Park, Central Province and Sinharaja Reserve Forest, Sabargamuwa Province (Molur et al. 2005). Survey, taxonomic research and monitoring are recommended for this species (Molur et al. 2005). Ex-situ conservation efforts might be required for the Indian population (Molur et al. 2005).|
Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: A Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Ellerman, J. R. 1961. Rodentia. The fauna of India including Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Mammalia, Manager of Publications, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, USA.
Joshua, J. 1996. Interbreeding between Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Ratufa macroura (Pennant) and Malabar Giant Squirrel, R. indica (Erxleben). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 93: 82-83.
Joshua J. and Johnsingh, A. J. T. 1993. Impact of biotic disturbances on the habitat and population of the endangered grizzled giant squirrel Ratufa macroura in South India. Biological Conservation 68: 29-34.
Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Walker, S., Nameer, P. O. and Ravikumar, L. 2005. Status of non-volant small mammals: Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P) workshop report. Zoo Outreach Organisation / CBSG-South Asia., Comibatore, India.
Moore, J. C. and Tate, G. H. H. 1965. A study of the diurnal squirrels, Sciurinae, of the Indian and Indo-Chinese subregions. Fieldiana Zoologica 48: 1-351.
Phillips, W. W. A. 1980. Manual of the Mammals of Sri Lanka. Part 1. Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka.
Phillips, W.W.A. 1981. Manual of the Mammals of Sri Lanka. Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka.
|Citation:||Joshua, J., de A. Goonatilake, W.I.L.D.P.T.S. & Molur, S. 2008. Ratufa macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.|