The Philippine tree shrew is widely distributed on the Mindanao, Dinagat, and Siargao islands of the Philippines (Lyon 1913; Nowak 1991).
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: island endemic
Urogale can easily be distinguished from other members of the Tupaiidae by its even-haired round tail and elongated snout. Furthermore, it has small zygomatic fenestra and large canine-like second incisors. Compared to the rest of its family, the skull of Urogale is large and angular, with a heavy rostrum. The claws on the fore feet are long and sharp. The dental and skull characteristics indicate that Urogale is probably more predatory and carnivorous than any other member of Tupaiidae.
The length of the head and body of U. everetti is approximately 170 to 220 mm, while the tail is 115 to 175 mm. The feet are usually 50 mm long and the braincase is about 20 mm wide.
The upper parts of the animal are brownish in color, due to a mixture of tawny and blackish hair. Most specimens also have an orange shoulder stripe. The underparts of the animal vary in color from orange to orangish-red. The chest is usually the brightest part. Specimens from different areas also vary in color from each other. The specimens from Dingagat are generally light in color with a golden sheen dorsally, while those from Siargao are usually much darker.
(Nowak 1999; Lyon 1913)
Average mass: 350 g.
Range length: 170 to 220 mm.
Average mass: 350 g.
Average basal metabolic rate: 1.25 W.
Catalog Number: USNM 125287
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Mammals
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin; Skull
Collector(s): E. Mearns
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Mount Apo, Todaya, Mindanao, Davao Del Sur Province, Philippines, Asia
Elevation (m): 1219
- Type: Mearns, E. A. 1905 May 13. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 28: 435.
Habitat and Ecology
Philippine tree shrews are usually found inhabiting brush zones and dense vegetation along river beds. They have also been observed running and climbing in trees. Natives of the Philippines say that U. everetti make nests in the ground and in cliffs. Urogale specimens have been collected from the mountains of Mindanao at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level. (Lyon 1913; Nowak 1999)
Range elevation: 900 to 1200 m.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: forest
This species is omnivorous. Urogale eats a variety of foods ranging from small animals and insects to fruits and vegetables. U. everetti has also been observed opening and eating eggs with enough skill to suggest that it does so in the wild. Their appetite is large; an individual can eat several bananas or two-ounce pieces of meat a day. Eating is usually done in the morning, but water is consumed whenever possible.
Animal Foods: mammals; amphibians; reptiles; eggs; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Plant Foods: fruit
Primary Diet: omnivore
Known prey organisms
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Life History and Behavior
Not much is know about the lifespan of U. everetti; however, one captive specimen lived to be 11.5 years old.
Status: captivity: 11.5 (high) years.
Status: captivity: 11.5 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Philippine tree shrews are born naked. Newly born Urogale weigh approximately 20 grams and are about 103 mm long. After 13 to 25 days, the young open their eyes. Urogale has been bred successfully in several zoos. The gestation period lasts 54 to 56 days and litters of only one or two have been reported. Adult females have 2 mammae and suckle their young about once every two days. Females are usually receptive to males soon after they give birth. (Hayssen et al. 1964; Nowak 1999).
Range number of offspring: 1 to 2.
Average number of offspring: 1-2.
Range gestation period: 54 to 56 days.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous ; post-partum estrous
Average birth mass: 20 g.
Average number of offspring: 2.
Parental Investment: altricial
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The current plans for the conservation of tree shrews in Southeast Asia are outlined in "Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrew: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan", a 1995 publication released by the IUCN. The URL for this site is http://members.vienna.at/shrew/itsesAP95-introduction.html.
The biggest problem threatening Urogale everetti populations is the destruction of their natural habitats by humans. Because they aren't well known and don't have an economic value, this species and its habitat are being overlooked by conservationists.
US Migratory Bird Act: no special status
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
The Mindanao treeshrew (Urogale everetti), also called the Philippine tree shrew, is a species of treeshrew endemic to the Mindanao region in the Philippines. It is the only member of the genus Urogale. The scientific name commemorates British colonial administrator and zoological collector Alfred Hart Everett.
Range and habitat
It is found, as its name suggests, in Mindanao, in the Philippines. It lives in rain forests and montane forests.
It is the heaviest treeshrew, weighing about 355 g, and is terrestrial. The body is 17-20 cm, and the tail is 11-17 cm. It has a particularly elongated snout and a rounded, even-haired tail. The fur is brownish, but with orange or yellow underparts.
It is diurnal in its habits, and it climbs well and runs fast on the ground.
Its diet is varied. It includes insects, lizards, young birds, bird's eggs, and fruit.
It is thought that in the wild, it nests on the ground, or on cliffs. Their breeding habits have been observed in captivity, where females have produced 1 or 2 young after a gestation period of 54-56 days.
- Helgen, K. M. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Tabaranza, B., Gonzalez, J. C., Ambal, G. & Heaney, L. (2008). Urogale everetti. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Napier JR, Napier PH. (1968) A handbook of living primates. Morphology, ecology and behaviour of nonhuman primates. Academic, London
- Macmillian Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia
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