Spilocuscus maculatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Spilocuscus maculatus (É. Geoffroy, 1803)
Common Name(s):
English Common Spotted Cuscus, Short-tailed Spotted Cuscus, Spotted Phalanger
French Couscous Tacheté, Phalanger Tacheté
Spanish Cuscús Manchado

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., Aplin, K. & Dickman, C.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, resilience to habitat disturbance and hunting, and because its population is probably stable.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widespread species is found through much of the southern Moluccan Islands (Indonesia), including Buru, Seram, Banda, and Ambon (possibly introduced to these islands); it is present on the islands of Misool and Yapen, the Kai Islands and the Aru Islands (all Indonesia); it is distributed over much of the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea); and is present on the Cape York Peninsula, north of Coen, in Australia. It has been introduced to the islands of Mussau and New Ireland (Papua New Guinea), and to Salayer Island, south of Sulawesi, Indonesia (George 1987). It has an altitudinal range of sea level to 1,400 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a locally common lowland species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is an arboreal and nocturnal species, found in primary, secondary, and disturbed tropical moist forest. It has additionally been recorded in mangrove forest. Females are believed to rear a single young (Winter and Leung 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species. It is locally hunted for food and skins in parts of its range (e.g., New Guinea).

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
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

Bibliography [top]

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.

George, G. G. 1987. Characterisation of the living species of cuscus (Marsupialia: Phalangeridae). In: M. Archer (ed.), Possums and opossums: studies in evolution, pp. 507–526. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, New South Wales, Australia.

Helgen, K. M. 2007. A Taxonomic and Geographic Overview of the Mammals of Papua. In: A. J. Marshall and B. M. Beehler (eds), The Ecology of Papua, pp. 689-749. Periplus Editions, Singapore.

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

Winter, J. W. and Leung, L. K.-P. 1995. Common Spotted Cuscus Spilocuscus maculatus. Mammals of Australia, pp. 266-268. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW, Australia.

Citation: Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A., Aplin, K. & Dickman, C. 2016. Spilocuscus maculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T20636A21950307. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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