Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Mammalogy • 2009] Distribution of Spiny Tree Mouse Platacanthomys lasiurus Blyth, 1859 in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India

Platacanthomys lasiurus | Malabar Spiny Dormouse
photo: Kalyanvarma | en.wikipedia.org


Spiny Tree Mouse Platacanthomys lasiurus is a rarely known endemic rodent, one of the two representatives of the rodent family Placanthomyidae. It inhabits the tropical forests of the Western Ghats of South India. A field survey was conducted from February 2002 to June 2005 in the Western Ghats to determine the status and distribution of this species. Intensive surveys were conducted in the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and the population status was assessed in 17 protected areas and 25 forest divisions using live trapping, questionnaire survey, direct observation and spot lighting. This species was recorded from 10 protected areas and 21 forest ranges, and except for the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary all reports from other sanctuaries, namely the Neyyar, Thattekkad, Idukki, Chinnar, Eravikulam, Chimmony, Parambikulam and Aralam Wildlife Sanctuaries and Periyar Tiger Reserve, were new. This species occur in extremely low densities, and apart from the tropical evergreen forests it was also recorded in the riverine patches in the tropical moist deciduous forests. The status of this species should be elevated from the Least Concern (IUCN) category to the next category, i.e., Near Threatened.

Keywords: India; Kerala; Muroidea; Platacanthomys lasiurus; rodent; Rodentia; tropical forests; Western Ghats

Jayson, E. A.; Jayahari, K. M. 2009. Distribution of Spiny Tree Mouse (Platacanthomys lasiurus Blyth, 1859) in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Mammalia. 73 (4): 331–337.

 Divya Mudappa, Ajith Kumar and Ravi Chellam. 2001. Abundance and habitat selection of the Malabar spiny dormouse in the rainforests of the southern Western Ghats, India.