Himalayan Striped Squirrel (Tamiops macclellandi)


HB:111; T:111;HF:27

The Himalayan, or Burmese, Striped Squirrel is largely a species of montane, forested areas above 700 metres elevation, though in some parts of Burma it is reported as being found at much lower altitudes. It is almost exclusively arboreal in habits, preferring tall forests, fruit trees and coconut palms.
The species is small in size, and quick in habits : it can easily be overlooked as it frantically moves from tree to tree searching for their food source - mainly insects. The striped pattern serves as an effective camouflage on fissured tree trunks.
The thickness and length of the alternating cream and dark brown dorsal stripes is the key identifying feature, and is diagnostic in distinguishing it from other, larger striped squirrels. In this species the stripes are thick and bold and run from near the eye to the base of the tail, which is narrow and short-haired.

There are  3 sub-species in Thailand.

Tamiops mcclellandi collinus; Tamiops mcclellandi konggensis; Tamiops mcclellandi leucotis;

Range Description:

This widespread squirrel has been recorded from northeastern South Asia, southern China and much of mainland Southeast Asia. In South Asia, this species has been recorded from Bhutan, India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim [Molur et al. 2005]) and Nepal where it widely distributed up to 1,500 m asl (Molur et al. 2005). In China, it has been recorded from Yunnan and Xizang (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it ranges from Myanmar, through much of Thailand, Western Cambodia, Northern Vietnam, Western Lao PDR and Northern Peninsular Malaysia. There is a recent published record from Sumatra (Indonesia), but this is considered erroneous.
Countries: Native:
Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Vietnam

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is found in a wide variety of habitats with trees, including secondary growth forest, scrub forest, and gardens. It is highly adaptable to habitat degradation. They are also found in association with humans in fruit trees and coconut palm plantations (Smith and Xie 2008). They live in the upper storeys of tall forests, fruit tree and coconut palms n Thai villages, especially in the Chiangmai area. The dorsal stripes serve as a camouflage when they on the bark of a tree; when frightened they often spread themselves out against the bark to heighten the effect, which makes then very hard to detect.They use holes in trees to shelter and often moves through the trees using long leaps. The diet consists of  insects, fruit and vegetable matter. There are 2 calls: a bird like chirp monotonously repeated at intervals of about 1 second; and a long descending trill of shrill chirps which lasts about 3 seconds. They are seen alone or in family parties.

Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

There are no known major threats to this species. In South Asia, habitat loss due to forest fire, encroachments, fragmentation, jhuming (slash and burn agriculture) and hunting are threats for this species (Molur et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions:

The species occurs in numerous protected areas (eg. Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, India). In South Asia, surveys, taxonomic research and monitoring are recommended for this species (Molur et al. 2005).