Native Cloud Rat rediscovered in the dense rainforests of Dinagat Island and protecting the island could save the rare species.
Dinagat Island, located Northwest of Philippines, is known for its dense and beautiful rainforests that are home to a variety of endemic species. One of these species, the Dinagat Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat (Crateromys australis), was discovered in 1974 but was assumed extinct for decades. The entire species was described from a single animal but was presumed extinct after researchers were unable to find any more individuals.
In 2012, the species was rediscovered by researchers Milada Řeháková and Václav Řehák. For the first time in almost 40 years Dinagat Island had renewed hope for the species. With new hope came increased efforts to protect this Critically Endangered native rat.
Last December a team of researchers set out to map the island and search for areas the species was likely to inhabit in order to best inform conservation measures. Řeháková commented:
I am very happy that our Philippine partners came up with the idea of establishing protected areas on Dinagat Island and that I can be part of it.
The expedition also captured footage of the Endangered Dinagat Moonrat (Podogymnura aureospinula), which had never before been photographed in the wild. The Dinagat Moonrat is found on three islands within the Philippines where deforestation has reduced habitat availability. Protecting Dinagat Island is crucial to prevent the permanent loss of the wildlife that live there and nowhere else in the world.
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