Mindanao shrew mouse (Crunomys melanius)

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Mindanao shrew mouse in habitat
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Mindanao shrew mouse fact file

Mindanao shrew mouse description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderRodentia
FamilyMuridae
GenusCrunomys (1)

The little-known Mindanao shrew mouse (Crunomys melanius) is one of 15 mice species endemic to the Philippine Islands (3). The Mindanao shrew mouse’s has dark chestnut, spiny fur on the upperparts and blackish-grey underparts (2) (4). The long tail is blackish-brown on the upperside and slightly paler on the underside, and the ears and feet are also blackish-brown (4).

The local native name for the Mindanao shrew mouse is ‘talacogun’, meaning an animal that lives in the ‘cogun’, a high and coarse grass (4)

Also known as
Mindanao shrew rat, Southern Philippine shrew-mouse.
Synonyms
Crunomys rabori.
Size
Total length: 18.5 - 22 cm (2)
Tail length: 8.1 - 9.5 cm (2)
Weight
50 - 71 g (2)
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Mindanao shrew mouse biology

Active during the day (5), the Mindanao shrew mouse forages amongst leaf litter and ground moss near large rocks and fallen logs, to uncover an abundance of insects and arthropods on which to feed (2).

No information on the Mindanao shrew mouse’s breeding biology and life history is available. Like other mice, the Mindanao shrew mouse probably produces many young during its very short lifespan, as it is thought to live for less than two years in the wild (5).

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Mindanao shrew mouse range

The Mindanao shrew mouse is found exclusively on the Philippine islands. It inhabits areas between sea level and 1,550 metres on the islands of Camiguin, Leyte and Mindanao (3).

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Mindanao shrew mouse habitat

Although primarily an inhabitant of lowland forest, the Mindanao shrew mouse has also been recorded in agricultural land, suggesting it is able to tolerate a degree of habitat disturbance (1).

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Mindanao shrew mouse status

The Mindanao shrew mouse is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Mindanao shrew mouse threats

The Mindanao shrew mouse is considered to be threatened by the significant deforestation taking place in the lowlands throughout its range (1). Much of this species’ habitat has already been lost (1), and a mere three percent of primary forest is estimated to remain in the lowlands, as a result of extensive logging (6). It is likely that the Mindanao shrew mouse population will decline further as the habitat destruction continues (1)

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Mindanao shrew mouse conservation

Before any conservation measures can be implemented for the Mindanao shrew mouse, more research needs to be undertaken on this species, to determine its population status and to establish whether it can survive in secondary forest (1).

Habitat-wide conservation action is required if the Philippines’ forests and the numerous unique species they hold, are to persist. To be successful, any conservation action needs to be compatible with the country’s development goals, as it tries to provide for a growing human population (6).

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Find out more

Learn about conservation in the Philippines:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
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Glossary

Arthropods
A major grouping of animals that includes crustaceans, insects and arachnids. All arthropods have paired jointed limbs and a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton).
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Primary forest
Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Heaney, L.R., Balete, D.S., Dolar, M.L., Alcala, A.C., Dans, A.T.L., Gonzales, P.C., Ingle, N.R., Lepiten, M.V., Oliver, W.L.R., Ong, P.S., Rickart, E.A., Tabaranza Jr, B.R. and Utzurrum, R.C.B. (1998) A synopsis of the mammalian fauna of the Philippine Islands. Fieldiana Zoology, 88: 1-61. Available at:
    http://www.fieldmuseum.org/Philippine_Mammals
  3. Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. (Eds.) (2005) Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  4. Musser, G.G. (1982) Crunomys and the small-bodied shrew rats native to the Philippine Islands and Sulawesi. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 174: 1-95.
  5. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  6. Mittermeier, R.A., Robles-Gil, P., Hoffmann, M., Pilgrim, J.D., Brooks, T.M., Mittermeier, C.G., Lamoreux, J.L. and Fonseca, G. (2004) Hotspots Revisited: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Ecoregions. Cemex, Mexico City.
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Image credit

Mindanao shrew mouse in habitat  
Mindanao shrew mouse in habitat

© DS Balete / The Field Museum

Lawrence Heaney
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr
Chicago
IL
60605-2496
USA
lheaney@fieldmuseum.org
http://www.fieldmuseum.org/

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