Buot | @natmuseumph via photos by NMP Zoology Division @National Museum of the Philippines (2021)

Today’s Wildlife Wednesday, the National Museum of the Philippines features a specimen that is turning 75 years old from the day it was collected — the Luzon bushy-tailed cloud rat locally known as “Bu-ot”.

Luzon Bushy-tailed cloud rats (Crateromys shadenbergi) were collected by Harry H. Hoogstraal on 1946 in Mt. Kapilingan, Mountain Province. Since then, the specimen has been in the care of the National Museum of the Philippines.

Above is the photo of the oldest of the three cloud rat specimens at the National Zoological Reference Collection. This cute and cuddly cloud rat with thick black glossy fur, a long bushy tail, and small round eyes lives high up on trees and is only found (endemic) in the Philippines.

The in situ photo features an adult Luzon bushy-tailed cloud rat that is about two feet long from the snout to the tip of the tail and weighs about one and a half kilos when alive. While the collection photo includes a stuffed specimen of a Luzon bushy-tailed cloud rat housed at the National Zoological Reference Collection of the National Museum of Natural History. While most are fully covered in black fur, some individuals have white patches on the head and on their forefeet.

Sadly, the stability of the population of this cloud rat species is threatened by the continuing destruction of forest habitats and wildlife hunting.

You can help save these amazing mammals by immediately reporting any environmental concerns in your area by calling DENR or 3367 from anywhere within the Philippines.

Buot is in fact a general Ilocano word for a rat.

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