Sikkim Rat (Rattus sikkimensis)
HB:173; T: 209, HF: 33.5; E: 22.5; W: 129g
Dorsal colour like that of the roof rat but overlaid with long black hairs down the middle of the back, giving it a darker affect; ventral colour creamy white sharply demarcated along the flanks and never with a dark chest streak. Feet and tail dark. the fur is long, thick and lustrous. The paw pads are large, projected and laminated for climbing. Mammae 3+3 with 2 postaxial pairs at least a centimetre apart,( longitudinally). The molars are usually black rimmed. Compared to the slender nosed Rattus rattus the rostrum is wider and the sides of the cranium are not vertical, they slant outwards from the parietal ridges.
This widespread species is known from southern China, Vietnam,
Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, Central and Northern Myanmar, North
India, Bhutan, and Eastern Nepal (Musser and Carleton 2005). In China, it is
known from the provinces of Tibet, Guizhou, Hainan (Guangdong), and Hong Kong
(Smith and Xie 2008). It could possibly be present in the remnant Northern and
North-Eastern forests of Bangladesh (S. Molur pers. comm.).
It is not known
from mainland peninsular Thailand South of the Isthmus of Kra (10E, 30N), but it
occurs on four islands off the coast (Koh Tau, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh
Kra) (Musser and Carleton 2005). It is also found on the Andaman Islands
(islands of North Andaman, South Andaman, and Little Andaman) and Car Nicobar (Musser and
Carleton 2005). It roughly occurs from sea level (Aplin and Frost 2006) up
to around 2,000 m asl (Sarker et al. 2005).
Bhutan; Cambodia; China (Guizhou, Hainan, Tibet [or Xizang]); Hong Kong; India (Andaman Is., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Nicobar Is., Sikkim, West Bengal); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Vietnam
It can be moderately abundant in forested areas.
Population Trend: Stable
Habitat and Ecology:
This is a highly arboreal species that is present in a variety
of forest and forest edge habitats. It can occur in secondary and modified
habitats with wooded areas. It is often found in agriculture lands, scrubland,
and around houses (Smith and Xie 2008).
There are no major threats to this species.
This species is listed in the Schedule V (considered vermin) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (Sarker et al. 2005). In China, it occurs in Fanjingshan (Guizhou) and Jianfengling Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008) and it is presumably present in many other protected areas. Further studies into the taxonomy of this species, particularly a review of genetic material, is needed. In China, it has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).