Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys heaneyi)

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat climbing a tree
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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat fact file

Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderRodentia
FamilyMuridae
GenusCrateromys (1)

First discovered in 1987, the Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat is a large, squirrel-like rodent with long, grizzled greyish-brown fur and a long, bushy tail (2) (3) (4). The second largest of the four known Crateromys species, which are all endemic to the Philippines, this species measures just over two feet from its nose to the tip of its tail (2).

Also known as
Panay cloud runner.
Size
Total length: 61 cm (2)
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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat biology

Cloud rats are arboreal, nocturnal animals that usually spend most of the day sleeping in holes of large trees (1) (6). Their diet typically consists of tender young leaves, bananas, guavas and young corns (1) (6). One captive specimen of this species lived for almost nine years, but the maximum potential lifespan is unknown (7).

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat range

Endemic to the Philippine island of Panay, where it is now confined to a mountain range on the western part of the island (2).

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat habitat

Found in lowland primary and secondary forest to approximately 400 m above sea level (5).

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat threats

Like other cloud rats, the Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat is threatened primarily by wide-scale deforestation and habitat destruction (1) (6). Additionally, cloud rats are hunted for their meat and to be kept as pets (6).

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Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat conservation

Cloud rats are among the wildlife species protected by the Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, an organisation dedicated to the conservation of Philippine biodiversity with links to a number of conservation groups nationally and internationally (6) (8). The Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat has been bred in captivity, including the UK’s London Zoo, the first institution outside of the Philippines to successfully breed the rat. The aim is to establish a viable captive population outside of the Philippines as an ‘insurance population’ (4). Captive populations also provide important opportunities to study the behaviour and biology of this species, which can in turn feed into creating more appropriate conservation measures in the future to protect the wild Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on the conservation of Philippine species see:

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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
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Glossary

Arboreal
Living in trees.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Nocturnal
Active at night.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Preiser, P. (1997) Where the Running Rodents Play. Discover, 18(1). Available at:
    http://www.discover.com/issues/jan-97/features/wheretherunningr970/
  3. Asean Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC) (January, 2007)
    http://arcbc.org/cgi-bin/abiss.exe/spd?SID=88632&spd=14413&tx=MA
  4. BBC News: Cloud rat arrives at London Zoo (January, 2006)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4000947.stm
  5. The Field Museum: A synopsis of the Mammalian Fauna of the Philippine Islands (January, 2007)
    http://www.fieldmuseum.org/Philippine_Mammals/Crateromys_heaneyi.htm
  6. Ceferino, P.M. (2001) Endangered Philippine Wildlife Species with Special Reference to the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis). Journal of International Development and Cooperation, 18(1): 1 - 17. Available at:
    http://home.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/idec/contents/publications/journal/vol08-no1-2001.pdf
  7. Human Aging Genomic Resources (January, 2006)
    http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Crateromys_heaneyi
  8. Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources (January, 2006)
    http://www.haribon.org.ph/
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Image credit

Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat climbing a tree  
Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat climbing a tree

© Fletcher & Baylis

Wildside Photography
kfletcher@wildsidephotography.ca
http://www.wildsidephotography.ca

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