Two-foot-long cloud rat rediscovered after missing for forty years in the Philippines
by Jeremy Hance
Czech computer programmer, Vaclav Rehak, was the first person to see a living Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys australis) in nearly forty years, reports GMA News. Rehak was traveling on Dinagat Island with his new wife, Milada Rehakova-Petru, a specialist on Philippine tarsiers, when he stumbled on the rodent, which has only been recorded once by scientists in 1975. Found only on the Dinagat Island, the rodent was feared extinct, but is now imperiled by mining concessions and logging across its small habitat, which is thought to be less than 100 square kilometers.
“My husband, programmer Vaclav Rehak, saw a big hairy rat creeping through the vegetation slowly at the beginning of 2012. A week later, we took the first photographs and video recordings [of the rodent] in the wild,” Milada Reháková-Petru told Czech media, Ceske Noviny…
The almost orange-colored rodent sports a long tail with a bushy white end. From head to tip-of-tail, the Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat is nearly 2 feet (21.6 inches, 55 centimeters) long, making it one of the world’s longest rodents. Currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, it was thought ‘possibly extinct.”…
(read more: MongaBay)
(images: L - Milada Řeháková and Vaclav Rehak/Tarsius Project; R - William Oliver, Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation)