Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Nicobar group of Islands in India, where it is confined to the islands of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Trinket (Molur et al. 2005; Musser and Carleton 2005). Rattus palmarum and R. anadamanensis occur on Car Nicobar Island and not R. burrus as previously believed (Musser and Carleton 2005). The total area of the islands is less than 1,500 km². and the species is fragmented into three populations on as many islands.
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Physical Description

Type Information

Type for Rattus burrus
Catalog Number: USNM 111811
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Mammals
Sex/Stage: Female; Adult
Preparation: Skin; Skull
Collector(s): W. Abbott
Year Collected: 1901
Locality: Trinkut [= Trinkat] Island, Nicobar Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Is, Asia
  • Type: Miller, G. S. 1902 May 29. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 24: 768.
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Type for Rattus burrus
Catalog Number: USNM 111789
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Mammals
Sex/Stage: Female; Adult
Preparation: Skin; Skull
Collector(s): W. Abbott
Year Collected: 1901
Locality: Great Nicobar Island, Nicobar Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Is, Asia
  • Type: Miller, G. S. 1902 May 29. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 24: 771.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests (Molur et al. 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O.

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered, in view of its extent of occurrence of less than 5,000 km², with all individuals in fewer than five locations, and a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
There is little information available on the abundance of this species.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The December 2004 tsunami has been observed to be the major threat for this species on the Nicobar islands. Post tsunami development, establishment and expansion of human settlements, conversion of forests into palm plantations are serious threats to the species (S. Molur pers. comm.).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures in place; it is not known if the species is present in any protected areas. Additional studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, general ecology and threats to this little-known species. Populations of this species should be monitored to record changes in abundance and distribution.
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Wikipedia

Nonsense rat

The Nonsense Rat, Nicobar Archipelago Rat, or Miller's Nicobar Rat (Rattus burrus) is endemic to the Nicobar Islands in India. It is currently listed as an endangered species (2011). The Nonsense Rat was first described in 1902 by Miller.

References[edit]

  • Molur, S. and Nameer, P. O. (2008). Rattus burrus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 19 Nov 2011. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is endangered.


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