Overview

Distribution

Northern smooth-tailed tree shrews are distributed in eastern India, Southeast Asia, and on some of the Malaysian islands (von Holst, 1990).

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

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Range Description

Historical records include sightings in southern Viet Nam, south-east Thailand and probably Cambodia. Recent records show their range extending much further north in Viet Nam (at least to 17º20'N and probably to 21º27'N), into Lao PDR, where it is confined to the south-east, and confirm their presence in Cambodia, where currently localized to Mondulkiri Province (Timmins et al. 2003)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dendrogale murina is the smallest of 19 species in the order Scandentia. The head-body length is 11.5 cm, with a tail length of 4 to 5 cm, weighing in at approximately 35 to 55 g. They are light in color and have facial markings, which are used to distinguish between the other smooth-tailed shrew (Dendrogale melanura), which lacks these facial markings.The upper body is brown/blackish in color, while the underside is lighter. They are short-haired and lack shoulder stripes. The tail is dark and becomes increasingly darker as it nears the tip. This species has relatively small claws (Nowak and Paradiso, 1983).

Range mass: 35 to 55 g.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Dendrogale murina resides in tropical forests with elevations up to 1500 m above sea level.

Range elevation: 0 to 1500 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Most records of the species are from evergreen forest (at varying stages of degradation), but it has also been
found in mixed deciduous forest, extensive secondary bamboo lacking any dicotyledonous canopy, and in streamside tangles amid rocky savanna. Records range from the plains up to 1,500 m asl (Timmins et al. 2003). The species mainly uses the under- and mid-storeys, but also enters the canopy; recent observations come primarily from under-storey tangles, especially of bamboo, almost exclusively between 30 and 300 cm above ground level (Timmins et al. 2003). In Thailand, has been observed on the branches of fruit trees (Timmins et al. .2003).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Trophic Strategy

The diet of northern smooth-tailed tree shrews consists mostly of fruit, arthropods, and small vertebrates. The digestive tracts of D. murina are very simple, which allows them to pass food very fast. This means that they must eat basically all day long to maintain their energy (Eckstrom, 1996).

Animal Foods: mammals; amphibians; reptiles; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: fruit

Primary Diet: omnivore

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Associations

Known prey organisms

Dendrogale murina preys on:
non-insect arthropods

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

In captivity D. murina live 9 to 10 years, but in the wild they can live to a little over 12 years (von Holst, 1990).

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
12 (high) years.

Typical lifespan

Status: captivity:
9 to 10 years.

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Reproduction

Dendrogale murina tend to breed when fruiting of local trees and shrubs is at its maximum (Blomstrom, 2001). Their weaning time is about 30 days and they usually give birth to twins. Infant Northern Smooth-tailed Tree Shrews are born weighing 6 to 10 g and are hairless, blind, and totally dependent on the mother. The mother lactates from just two nipples. The mother's milk is very high in fat content. On average a pair of these shrews mate and produce young every 45 days. Dendrogale murina reach sexual maturity after 2 months. Once sexual maturity has reached, the young are forced out of the nest; they live on their own until they find a suitable mate (von Holst, 1990).

Average number of offspring: 2.

Average weaning age: 30 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 months.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

Parental Investment: altricial

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Conservation

Conservation Status

Not too well known, but D. murina seem to be abundant

(von Holst, 1990).

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Timmins, R.J.

Reviewer/s
Hoffmann, M. & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern as the species seems to be reasonably widespread, locally common, and there are no major threats resulting in a significant decline that would warrant listing in a higher category of threat.
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Population

Population
Locally quite common (Parr 2003). Timmins et al. (2003) note that while in some areas (e.g. Cat Tien National Park, Viet Nam, and a part of Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia) the species is clearly common, elsewhere records are infrequent.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to the species, but they may be undergoing localized declines in parts of their range due to habitat loss.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is present in several national parks and protected areas. Cat Tien National Park in Viet Nam, and in Lao PDR in Hin Namno National Biodiversity Consevation Area, Nam Ghong Provincial Protected Area, and Hin Namno NBCA. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Wikipedia

Northern smooth-tailed treeshrew

The northern smooth-tailed treeshrew (Dendrogale murina) is a species of treeshrew in the Tupaiidae family. It is found in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardner, A. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Timmins, R. J. (2008). Dendrogale murina. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Endo et al. (July 1999) Functional morphology of the locomotor system in the northern smooth-tailed tree shrew (Dendrogale murina). Annals of Anatomy. Vol. 181, Number 4. pp. 397-402
  • Olson et al. (2005) Intraordinal phylogenetics of treeshrews (Mammalia: Scandentia)based on evidence from the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Vol. 35. pp. 656–673.
  • Olson et al. (March 2004) Phylogenetic Relationships Among Treeshrews (Scandentia): A Review and Critique of the Morphological Evidence. Journal of Mammalian Evolution. Vol. 11, Number 1. pp. 49-71.
  • Shchipanov, N. A.; A. A. Kalinin. (October 2006) Distribution of small mammals in three layers of south Vietnam rainforest. Doklady Biological Sciences. Vol. 410, Number 1. pp. 387-390.
  • Timmins et al. (September 2003) Distribution, status and ecology of the mainland slender-tailed treeshrew Dendrogale murina. Mammal Review. Vol. 33, Issue 3-4. pp 272-283.
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