Crateromys australis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Crateromys australis Musser, Heaney & Rabor, 1985
Common Name(s):
English Dinagat Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat, Dinagat Crateromys, Dinagat Hairy-tailed Cloud Rat, Dinagat Island Cloud Rat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-12-07
Assessor(s): Kennerley, R.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Ong, P., Tabaranza, B., Rosell-Ambal, R.G.B., Balete, D.S., Heaney, L., Řeháková, M. & Duya, A.
The species is listed as Data Deficient, because it is only known from a handful of specimens from two areas of Dinagat Island. Almost nothing is known about its distribution, population, ecological requirements, or threats that it faces. Whilst it is likely to be more common than previously thought, there is continued destruction of its forest habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Philippines. It was described from a single specimen collected between 1974 and 1975 (Musser et al. 1985; Oliver et al. 1993) from Dinagat island. The type locality is Balitbiton, Loreto municipality, Surigao del Norte Province, Dinagat Island, Philippines (Musser and Carleton 2005). The species was rediscovered in 2012 during a survey of Dinagat Island and again found in Loreto Municipality, Surigao del Norte Province (Reháková et al. 2015). Crateromys australis has been reported by locals at several points in the Northeast of the island (Pedregosa-Hospodarsky 2009).  A specimen was found in San Jose, Dinagat, which was likely kept as a pet (L. Heaney and P. Ong pers. comm. 2016). Another specimen has recently been collected in Loreto and was found in the building of a minihydro plant (P. Ong pers. comm. 2016). The species may occur also on adjacent islands, especially Siargao and Bucas Grande, where Podogymnura aureospinula, previously only known from Dinagat, is now known to occur. Local people on the nearby island of Siargao reported seeing an arboreal rat resembling Crateromys australis (Oliver et al. 1993), but this still needs to be confirmed.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is known only from the holotype captured in 1975, one individual photo and video recorded in 2012, and a specimen found in San Jose, Dinagat (L. Heaney pers. comm. 2016). The species may be common on the island, but difficult to detect because it is shy and cryptic (P. Ong pers. comm.).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The holotype is from disturbed lowland forest, near a logging road. The second individual was observed in a semi-protected area. The site in Loreto where video footage of the species was recorded was dense tangled foliage of secondary forest (P. Ong pers. comm. 2016). The species is small for a cloud rat which occurs in the canopy. It was observed closely after sunset and therefore is likely to be nocturnal (Řeháková et al. 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Dinagat island is particularly threatened by increasing levels of mining for chromite which occurs in ultrabasic areas. The species and habitat occur in an area which is negatively affected by local political activities. Deforestation is probably a major threat (Oliver et al. 1993). Currently much of the forest has been logged or fragmented. Most of the Dinagat Island area is covered by approved mining claims with no area protected on national level and the threats are severe (Řeháková et al. 2015). The specimen collected in San Jose was likely to have been kept as a pet (P. Ong pers. comm. 2016).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The area around the type locality is included within an Important Bird Area. Species specific surveys are urgently needed on Dinagat to determine its range there and also on Siargao and Bucas Grande islands to ascertain if it occurs on those islands. The species is likely to be forest dependent, given its arboreal nature, although the extent which it can persist in secondary forest is unknown. Although precise remaining forest cover data is still wanting it is clear Dinagat currently supports far more extant native forest than the rest of this distinct (sub-)region combined, and that the continued existence of these habitats is obviously crucial to the future survival prospects of all Dinagat endemic species. However, there are as yet no National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) (or any other ‘effectively protected’) ‘protected areas’ on Dinagat. On the contrary, all such habitats are now seriously threatened by active mining claims. Clearly and obviously Dinagat epitomises the underlying conflict of interest between the Philippine's genuine and pressing socio-economic development need its ‘exceptionally extraordinary’ global importance per regional and global biodiversity conservation issues. In light of these concerns we would respectfully urge the immediacy of need for a major review of all existing mining claims and other threats to the biodiversity of this region, with a view to ensuring the setting-aside of as much still intact native forest and other wildlife habitats as possible (Řeháková et al. 2015).

Citation: Kennerley, R. 2017. Crateromys australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T5499A22415226. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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