Isarog Shrew-Rat

isarog shrew-Rat
Isarog Shrew-Rat | @bicolmuseum via IUCN

Isarog Shrew-Rat

We can only find this rat in one mountain in the Philippines!

Mt. Isarog of Camarines Sur province is one of the Bicol Region’s highest mountains, rising to 6,450 ft, is known for its very own mossy forest and verdant crater. Aside from this, it has a rich biodiversity with lots of animal and plant species. The Isarog shrew-rat (Rhynchomys isarogensis) is one of the species found in Mt. Isarog.

The Isarog shrew-rat lives at a single location in the upper montane and mossy forest habitats of Mt. Isarog. It is a species of rodent that belongs to the family of Muridae. This species of shrew rat has a stout body; the tail is much shorter than the head and the body with small eyes and a very long muzzle. The head and body are covered with thick, short, and soft brown fur, velvety to the touch. The lower side appears to be whitish-gray because of the white hairs for most of their lengths with gray bases. The dorsal part of the feet is white; the palmar and plantar surfaces are unpigmented, and the claws are slender. Its tail is short and scantily haired; the upper side is brown, and the underside is unpigmented except for the narrow midventral brown stripe extending from the base to the tip.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 2018 listed this species as a high risk of extinction in the wild. Mt. Isarog appears to be no longer threatened by logging, and the most montane and mossy forest is currently undisturbed. The Haribon Foundation launched a community-based protected area management project in selected villages surrounding Mt. Isarog fostering environmental awareness and assisting conservation by establishing active people organizations to curb illegal logging.

The Philippines is one of the few places in the world bestowed with rich endemicity, and some of this unique set of wildlife is in the Bicol region.

Source: @bicolmuseum via IUCM

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