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Ilin Island Cloud Rat

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago
Ilin Island Cloud Rat (Crateromys paulus)


Description and Rationale

The Ilin Island Cloud rat-(critically endangered species in the Philippines)


 Why are some animals in the Philippines near extinction? What could people

do to help the rebound? The Ilin Island Cloud Rat is one of the crtically endangered

animals in the Philippines. These little creatures eat fruit, are only active at night,

and do not affect or disadvantage human. However, strangely enough, this species is near



What is the Ilin Island Cloud Rat’s impact on the local ecology? Also, why is

it that they are being so close to the complete extinction? Is it a scavenger to other

animals that they are being killed by them? Is it that they are competitor of food resources

with other animals in the forests? Do these creatures really not affect the human’s livelihood?

Is it that they are so small that the people don’t notice and cut down trees for their own

benefit? Or is it that they still cut down trees even though they know their existence?


 Might there be new ways to utilize the Ilin Island Cloud Rat for ecotourism or 

livelihood? Through the research, showed that the Ilin Island Cloud Rat were killed by

people cutting down forests for lumber, paper, and other uses for their own good not

know that the Ilin Island Cloud Rats are dying by the destruction of their habitat.

How is this not being fixed? How much is based on experience and scientific observations

and how much is it based on superstition or assumption? If beneficial uses of the

Ilin Island Cloud Rat are found, such as giving them special cares, putting them in a

zoo and help them reproduce more, and making special programs in a zoo to the people

telling about these poor creatures, what would be the best way to keep them from extinction?


 The initial purpose of this project will be to research the biology and ecology of the

Ilin Island Cloud Rat in Mindoro, as well as interviews with people had lived in the Ilin Island

or to the people who know about this creature. These initial findings will help guide the

experimental phase, where key variables in the Ilin Island Cloud Rat’s survivability and

usefulness will be further explored.


 It is hoped that new use of the previously unwanted and endangered Ilin Island Cloud Rat

might help improve the Ilin Island Cloud Rat’s population growth and also to livelihood

of the people living among the Mindoro, through ecotourism and more informed understanding

of thes species.




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Common Names and Synonyms


Crateromys paulus. Locally known as "dagang buut,” is also called

the Ilin Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat. It is also known as the Ilin Island

Cloudrunner, Ilin Hairy-tailed Cloud Rat, or the Ilin Island Cloud Rat.

Since Crateromys paulus are high tree dwelling animals, above cloud

level, it is so called the Cloud Rat.






Class: MAMALIA (Mammals)

Order: RODENTIA (Rodents)

Family: MURIDAE (Mice and rats)

Genus: CRATEROMYS (Bushy-tailed cloud rat)

Species: CRATEROMYS PAULUS (Ilin Island cloud rat)


C.paulus is grouped in the Muridae family which includes rats and mice.

The word "rat" often brings to mind a squinty-eyed, voracious animal

that breeds prolifically unless constantly opposed through trapping

and poisoning. But most rat and mouse species are well-mannered, clean,

rather pretty and shy and pose no threat to humans.

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 Morphology and Physical Description


The C.paulus has a body length of 25 cm, the smallest of the

cloud rats, with short, coarse, brown fur, a cream-colored underside,

and a short, hairy, tricolor tail.


Cloud Rat has only two pairs of incisors, which continue to grow

as long as the rat lives. The rat’s incisors are sharp, an adaptation

for its diet of hard seeds, fruits, and leaves. As the rat gnaws,

the back surface of the tooth wears away faster than the front surface,

maintaining the tooth’s chisel-like edge.


They also have large hind feet that are highly specialized for

arboreal (def: denoting an animal that lives mainly in trees.)

life and large fore claws.


Cloud Rat is also known for their fruity, musky odor as a defense

mechanism to ward off other animals but it also is used as a tracking

device for humans, much to their demise.



 Getting Food


In the wild, the C.paulus emerges from tree hollows at night

to feed on tender young leaves, fruits and roots. At the Zoo,

the cloud rat eats rodent blocks, greens, yam, canned primate diet,

nuts and as treats they get orange, apple, corn-on-the-cob, carnivore

meat, and crickets. Cloud rats seize their food with their forepaws

and eat while in an upright posture, chewing loudly.

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The C.paulus’ births occur in all months. Females have an interval

of 8 months between births. Estimates of gestation period range from

65- 95 days.


They give birth to a single young weighing 100-150g which the mother

keeps firmly attached to a nipple when she is in the nest. The young are

born in tree holes or hollows of standing or fallen trees or in holes

in the ground.


Young are weaned at 5 months of age. Sexual maturity was attained at 8

months in females and from 12- 18 months in males. Estrus cycles ranged

from 10 -15 days. This species thrives in captivity and has been known to

live 13 - 15 years. The C.paulus lives alone, in pairs or in pairs with

one or two dependent young.


Environmental Factors


The C.paulus lives in a wide variety of habitats from sea

level to at least 2000m high mountains. It is nocturnal,

meaning that they move around, and they are most active at night.

The genus Crateromys is mostly populated in the Philippines, meaning

that it is well adaptable in the tropical weather. It mostly dwells

in the high trees (arboreal) in the sub-tropical rain forests.

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Origin and Distribution


There are 63 species of rats and mice in the Philippines only 6

are responsible for causing more than minor damage to anything

and those six were all accidentally imported from the Asian mainland.

Each of the native species is an important part of the biological community.


The C.paulus is endemic: A species is "endemic" to a particular area

if it occurs naturally only in that area. The term is usually applied

to a species with a very limited range, or a species that only occurs

in one country which is the Philippines. From 1998, C.paulus was considered

as critically endangered animal. Since it is so, some of the C.paulus was

sent to the zoo in London, with its main purpose of reproducing for a larger population.


Importance to People


The C.paulus is decreasing in population, by human activities

in the Island of Mindoro. The main causes of these are that they

are losing their habitats and as well as their other source of

energy and protection, such as fruits, leaves and trees.


There are several intriguing Ideas about using the wild C.paulus

as a new way of reviving the population of the C.paulus and to save

this creature from extinction.


A zoo or a tourism site could have a

new way of getting people attention to help the C.paulus from its

decrease of population. This could be done my using methods like,

ecotourism, making special program in a zoo to explain about this

animal and how it is in the position of extinction.


Also the C.paulus could be adapted to other countries that have

better condition for this creature to live and reproduce.


Survivability and Endangered Status


The C.paulu’s population trend is uncertain and unknown.

Having close encounter with this creature and its habitat is

geographically extremely restricted. Even some of the predictions

Report the complete extinct of this creature on Ilin Island.

On the other hand, the IUCN (The World Conversation Union)

considered the C.paulus critically endangered but not yet extinct.

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Potential Solutions

 Why is the Ilin Island Cloud Rat considered as critically

endangered species? The ultimate solution to this problem

has not been established at this point by the researchers.


However, further research and studies about the ecology and

food webs in the Ilin Island are necessary before determining

the ultimate solution to the Ilin Island Cloud rat.


There seem to be several promising possibilities that may be able to

benefit the species and the people in the Philippines.


Below are few possibilities with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages

for each. Along with a few current status reports of progress made to

date the possibilities.


Possibility 1



Since Ilin Island Cloud Rat (Crateromys paulus) is considered

as a critically endangered animal of the world, they need a

special care in order to survive. Sending the rat to a zoo is

already being done in some areas in the world. Such as, some

Ilin Island Cloud Rats caught are sent to the National Museum of

the Natural History in Washington D.C. in April 1953.


If the other countries had done transporting, why not transporting

to this country’s local zoo?



1. The reason that this species are decreasing in population is

        because of human activities. With better and more comfortable conditions

        that the local zoo provides, the Ilin Island Cloud Rat could reproduce

        healthy offsprings and could have rapid and often reproduction.


2. Ilin Island Cloud Rat is rarely known to the local people in the

        Philippines. By transporting this species to a local zoo, people will get

        to know better about this species, and since this species is endemic to the

        Philippines, people will put their extra interest to this species.



1. This species are critically endangered, which means that they are extremely

        hard to find, and this could not be cheaply done to find this species in the wild.


2. It is not guaranteed that the species will show exponential and success growth

        of the population.


3. Once they are in the zoo, they have the security, and depend on humans providing

        the perfect and suitable conditions. It is concerned that this species might not

        adjust to the wild environment once they are again released back to the wild even

        if they succeed the rising of the population.

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Possibility 2



Even though the Ilin Island Cloud Rat is an endemic species

of the Philippines, people don’t really know the existence

of this species. By telling the fact about the Ilin Island

Cloud Rat with brochures and telling how this species is in

danger, might help Filipinos to put more interest into this animal.


20 people had been asked the question inside the Cotton Wood Heights,

Antipolo city, The Philippines.



1. By telling the Filipinos, they might realize the importance

        of this animal. Especially for the fact that this animal is

        endemic to the Philippines, this could catch Filipino’s better

        attention more easily.


2. Further, people who are interested in this animal could give extra

        interest to this species and could possibly donate money to save

        this species to help stop from the extinct.



1. One possible reason that Filipinos don’t know about the Ilin Island

        Cloud Rat, even though it is endemic to the Philippines and also that

        this specie is critically endangered might be that people don’t care

        about animals as much. This concludes that people could hardly show

        interests to this problem. Even if they do, the interest might not last long


2. Since This possibility and action step is focused in doing and telling

        things with kids, they will not think or, do further steps of actually

        impact in saving the Ilin Island Cloud Rat.

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Possibility 3


The reason why the Ilin Island Cloud Rat is almost extinct is

because of the human activities. People cut down woods and forests

to get resources from either with knowing that the place is where

the endangered species’ habitat is or not. Stopping the human

activities in the area will be mostly important step to save the

Ilin Island Cloud Rat from being extinct.



1. If the deforestation is stopped, the Ilin Island Cloud Rat

        and as well as other animals that originally lived in the forest

        will settle back in the forest making the place their habitat,

        which is the most important step for this species to not become

        extinct but keep reproducing.


2. This also could be a benefit to the local people in the Island of

        Ilin. Reducing the sound pollution of cutting down trees, also the

        view of the out side environment, and they could have chance to have

        close encounter with the wild animals and other lives.



1. In order to stop the deforestation, the local people would have to

        sacrifice one of their ways to get resource from. It would be very hard

        for the local people to live without the main resource of their living


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"Crateromys Paulus." Itis Report. 5 May 2007. 14 Apr. 2007 <http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=585203>.


"Crateromys Paulus." IUCN. 5 May 2007. 14 Apr. 2007 <http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/5501/summ>.


"Crateromys Paulus." Zipcode Zoo. 11 Apr. 2007. Bay Science Foundation. 14 Apr. 2007 <http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/C/Crateromys_paulus.asp>.


Feldkamp, Susan, ed. Modern Biology. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Wilston, 2000. 885-896.


"Ilin Island Cloudrunner." Answers.Com. 2 Mar. 2007. Wikipedia. 5 May 2007 <http://www.answers.com/topic/ilin-island-cloudrunner>.


IUCN SSC UK Office. “Questions about Crateromys paulus.” E-mail to the author. 5 May. 2007.


Morgana, Deja. "Cloud Rat." Everything2. 9 Feb. 2002. The Everything Development Company. 13 Apr. 2007 <http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1251269>.


"Threatened Species." Animal Info-Philippines. 11 Mar. 2006. 6 May 2007 <http://www.animalinfo.org/country/philippi.htm>.



Brochure for the action step

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