Sunday 19 May
Sundaic arboreal niviventer (Niviventer cremoriventer)
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Sundaic arboreal niviventer fact file
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Sundaic arboreal niviventer description
The Sundaic arboreal niviventer (Niviventer cremoriventer) is one of 15 species belonging to the genus Niviventer, known as the ‘white bellied rats’ (3). The Sundaic arboreal niviventer has thick reddish-brown to orange-brown fur on the upperparts, with distinct long, black guard hairs. The underparts are whitish with a yellow tinge (2) (4).
The dusky, prehensile tail has a slight tuft at the tip and is longer than the head and body (2) (3) (4), providing the Sundaic arboreal niviventer with excellent balance, so that it is equally at home foraging for fruit in the canopy as it is on the forest floor (5). Its broad hind feet with well-developed pads on the soles also make it an able climber (2).
- Also known as
- Dark-tailed tree rat. Top
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- Guard hairs
- Long, coarse hairs that protect the softer layer of fur below.
- Feeding on both plants and animals.
- Capable of grasping.
- 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.
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- Francis, C.M. (2008) A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers, London.
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Mammals of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Yasuma, S., Andau, M., Apin, L., Yu, F.T.Y. and Kimsui, L. (2003) Identification Keys to the Mammals of Borneo. Park Management Component, BBEC Programme, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
- Wells, K., Pfeiffer, M., Lakim, M.B. and Kalko, E.K.V. (2006) Movement trajectories and habitat partitioning of small mammals in logged and unlogged rain forests on Borneo. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75(5): 1212-1223.
- Wells, K., Lakim, M.B. and Pfeiffer, M. (2006) Nest sites of rodents and treeshrews in Borneo. Ecotropica, 12: 141-149.
- Wells, K. and Bagchi, R. (2005) Eat in or take away – seed predation and removal by rats (Muridae) during a fruiting event in a dipterocarp rainforest. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 53(2): 281-286.
- Wells, K., Corlett. R.T., Lakim, M.B., Kalko. E.K.V. and Pfeiffer, M. (2009) Seed consumption by small mammals from Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 25: 555-558.
- Nakagawa, M., Miguchi, H. and Nakashizuka, T. (2006) The effects of various forest uses on small mammal communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. Forest Ecology and Management, 231: 55-62.
- Daltry. J.C., Wüster, W. and Thorpe, R.S. (2006) Intraspecific variation in the feeding ecology of the crotaline snake Calloselasma rhodostoma in Southeast Asia. Journal of Herpetology, 32(2): 198-205.
- Rajaratnam, R., Sunquist, M., Rajaratnam, L. and Ambu, L. (2007) Diet and habitat selection of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis borneoensis) in an agricultural landscape in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 23: 209-217.
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Sundaic arboreal niviventer biology
Little is known about the biology of the Sundaic arboreal niviventer, but other Niviventer species typically produce litters of two to five young (3). The nest, which is woven from plant fibres and leaves, is commonly fixed to branches, some distance off the ground (6).
The Sundaic arboreal niviventer is reportedly omnivorous, and although details of its diet are lacking, it is known to feed on fruits and seeds (7) (8). It is agile and light enough to traverse branches less than three millimetres in diameter to reach fruit (7). As a result of this diet, the Sundaic arboreal niviventer is, like many small mammals, likely to play an important role as a seed disperser (7) (8) (9).Top
Sundaic arboreal niviventer range
The Sundaic arboreal niviventer is widespread in Southeast Asia. Its range extends from peninsular Thailand, through Malaysia and Singapore to Indonesia, including Sumatra and Borneo (1).Top
Sundaic arboreal niviventer habitat
The Sundaic arboreal niviventer inhabits forests at a range of altitudes, from sea level up to 1,530 metres on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu (1). It favours primary forest, but may also be found in secondary forest (1).Top
Sundaic arboreal niviventer status
The Sundaic arboreal niviventer is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Sundaic arboreal niviventer threats
Although the Sundaic arboreal niviventer is considered to be tolerant of some disturbance of its habitat and can live in secondary forest, the extent of habitat destruction and degradation in Southeast Asia is so great that it is causing numbers of this unusual mammal to decline (1). The palm oil and timber industries are primarily responsible for the destruction of Southeast Asia’s forests, which has resulted in the Sundaic arboreal niviventer becoming an endangered species (1).Top
Sundaic arboreal niviventer conservation
Although the Sundaic arboreal niviventer is reportedly present in many protected areas throughout its range (1), which should offer its forest habitat some protection, there are currently no known species conservation measures in place for this small rodent.Top
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