Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This is a Borneo species, with a disjunct range across several isolated montane outcrops of Sarawak and western Sabah (Malaysia); probably also found in northern Kalimantan (Indonesia). Although it has been trapped as low as 300 m (Medway 1977), such records are very rare, and the species is most common above 600 m.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found only in submontane and montane forest, but can tolerate disturbed forest.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Relationship provides nutrients: pitcher plant
 

The large pitcher of Nepenthes pitcher plants gathers nitrogen from tree shrews through a mutualistic relationship.

     
 

"Botanists have discovered that the giant montane pitcher plant of  Borneo has a pitcher the exact same size as a tree shrew's body.

 

"But  it is not this big to swallow up mammals such as tree shrews or rats.

 

"Instead,  the pitcher uses tasty nectar to attract tree shrews, then ensures its  pitcher is big enough to collect the feeding mammal's droppings

 

"That suggests these supposedly 'meat-eating' plants have evolved a  mutualistic relationship with tree shrews.

 

"The tree shrews get  nectar, a valuable food source, and in return, the plants get to catch  and absorb the tree shrew's faeces which likely supplies the majority of  nitrogen required by the plant." (Walker 2010)


  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Chin L; Moran JA; Clarke C. 2010. Trap geometry in three giant montane pitcher plant species from Borneo is a function of tree shrew body size. New Phytologist. 186(2): 461-470.
  • Walker M. 2010. Giant meat-eating plants prefer to eat tree shrew poo. BBC Earth News [Internet],
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Han, K.H., Stuebing, R. & Maryanto, I.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern as it is common in montane regions of Borneo, which remain mostly undisturbed and although it may be undergoing localized declines, these are not likely to be sufficient to merit listing in a threatened category.
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Population

Population
This species is very common in north-western Borneo (Han et al. 2000).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
A general threat for species living in the montane Borneo is loss of habitat due to deforestation for agriculture, such as the conversion of upland forests to vegetable farms (K. H. Han pers. comm.).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species occurs in Gunung Niut Nature Reserve (Simons 1987), Gunung Penrissen Nature Reserve (Medway 1977) - although it has not been found there recently in a survey by K.H. Han (pers. comm.) - Danau Sentarum National Park in western Kalimantan (Jeanes and Meijaard 2000), Crocker Range National Park and Kinabalu Park (K. H. Han pers. comm.). It has also been recorded from Kayan Mentarang National Park (I. Maryanto pers. comm.). It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Wikipedia

Mountain treeshrew

The mountain treeshrew (Tupaia montana) is a treeshrew species of the Tupaiidae family.[1] It is endemic to Borneo and inhabits montane forests in Sarawak and Sabah.[2]

The first specimen was described by Oldfield Thomas and was part of a zoological collection from northern Borneo obtained by the British Museum of Natural History.[3]

Characteristics[edit]

The mountain treeshrew is dark grizzled rufous above with an indistinct black line along the back. Its tail is rather short and grizzled rufous above, but below more olivaceous yellow with a black tip. The lateral tail hairs are ringed. A male specimen described by Thomas measured 20 cm (7.9 in) in head to body with a 14 cm (5.5 in) long tail.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Charles Hose collected the first specimen at about 4,000 ft (1,200 m) on Mount Dulit.[3] Mountain treeshrews have mostly been recorded in montane outcrops above 600 m (2,000 ft).[2]

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

In their natural habitat, mountain treeshrews were observed being active during the day. They forage on the ground among fallen logs and branches where they feed mostly on arthropods. They also consume large quantities of wild fruits and berries, eating them in short bursts. It is assumed that they extract sugar laden juices and this way supplement dietary deficiencies of an arthropod diet.[4]

Results of a behavioral study of a group of 12 wild-caught captive mountain treeshrews indicate that they are more social than groups of other treeshrew species. Two males tended to dominate the group. Females had an estrous cycle lasting nine to 12 days. Gestation lasted 49 to 51 days. They did not display a distinct reproductive season. Litters comprised one to two young.[5]

Mountain treeshrews have a mutualistic relationship with giant pitcher plants such as Nepenthes lowii, Nepenthes macrophylla, and Nepenthes rajah. They defecate into the plants' traps while visiting them to feed on sweet, fruity secretions from glands on the pitcher lids.[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Helgen, K. M. (2005). "Tupaia montana". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c Han, K. H., Stuebing, R., Maryanto, I. (2008). "Tupaia montana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ a b c Thomas, O. (1892). On some new Mammalia from the East-Indian Archipelago. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History 6 (9): 250–254.
  4. ^ Emmons, L. (2000). Tupai: A field study of Bornean treeshrews. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  5. ^ Sorenson, M. W., Conaway, C. H. (1968). The social and reproductive behavior of Tupaia montana in captivity. Journal of Mammalogy: 502–512.
  6. ^ Greenwood, M., Clarke, C., Lee, C.C., Gunsalam, A., Clarke, R. H. (2011). A unique resource mutualism between the giant Bornean pitcher plant, Nepenthes rajah, and members of a small mammal community. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021114
  7. ^ Chin, L., Moran, J. A., Clarke, C. (2010). Trap geometry in three giant montane pitcher plant species from Borneo is a function of tree shrew body size. New Phytologist 186 (2): 461–470. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.03166.x
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