Low's Squirrel (Sundasciurus lowii)


HB:130-136; T: 80-90; HF: 30-31; E:11-12;W;55-60g

Low's Squirrel (Sundasciurus lowii) is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Named after Sir Hugh Low, the well-respected British colonial civil servant of Malaya, this small squirrel inhabits primary forest, both lowland and montane. The body measures up to 15 cm, and the short, bushy tail 10 cm. The upperparts are brown, and the underparts cream to buff. The nose is straight and pointed.  .  Head-Body Length : 13-15cm Tail Length : 8-10cm  Weight : 60-70 grams Maximum longevity11.1 years (captivity) S. lowii is a small, brown squirrel. The dark brown pelage of the upperparts and tail forms a sharp clear border with the creamy underparts. The tail is short and bushy. The head as a straight Roman nose. The female as 3 pairs of mammae.


 It is very common in suitable habitat (Han pers. comm.). This species was the most abundant of its genus found in a survey conducted by Saiful and Nordin (2004) in Peninsular Malaysia (Weng River sub-catchment), with a density of 13.00 1.85 individuals/km2. In general, this species is found at low densities in unlogged forest in Malaysia; in Danum Valley, Sabah, Norhayati (2001) found 14.4 individuals/km2, while Zainuddin et al. (1996) found 1.28 individuals/km2 in Nanga Gaat, Sarawak. The species ranges from Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and other smaller Indonesia islands including Natuna. The subspecies S .l robinsoni (Bonhole 1903) is known only from the southernmost provinces.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology:

It prefers degraded and secondary tall forest habitats in both lowland and mountain. It  usually forages very near to the ground but T J Marshall reports reported them eating Lichen 12 feet from the ground in the bole of a large tree. In captivity it prefers to eat soft fruit. Three researchers have recorded that it increases in number after shifting cultivation. This is a diurnal and arboreal species (Saiful and Nordin 2004). It has been suggested that one of the reasons for low densities of this species in Malaysian tropical rain forest is competition from the great variety of other arboreal vertebrates (such as birds, and especially primates) for food, especially fruits and leaves, which are among the food items preferred by squirrels (Saiful and Nordin 2004). It is occasionally found along river banks, as seen at Temerloh, Pahang (Han pers. comm.).  Active mainly in early morning and late afternoon, it feeds on insects, such as ants and termites, and small fruits. Litter size 2 or 3.
Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to this species (Han pers. comm.).

 Conservation Actions:

It occurs in several protected areas across its range (Han pers. comm.). Saiful and Nordin (2004) state the need for further comparative study on this species' abundance, density and distribution and its relationship to forest structure or habitat quality, spatially and temporally, in hill dipterocarp forest of Malaysia.