Philippines Squirrel (locally known as tree squirrel )- Sundasciurus philippinensis

Philippines tree squirrel - Photo courtesy of MRM Duya, Conservation International Philippines. From Mindanao Island, Sultan Kudarat Province.Creature of the day today is the Philippines squirrel, not many people are covering the wildlife and to be honest its one of the best natural resources the Philippines has with its variety. So from today I will be adding an article a day on new animals,insects and other interesting creatures that inhabit the Philippines Islands.

Its size is average in comparison to other squirrels around the world in fact its terminology would be a “medium sized squirrel” which doesn’t get more average than that. Colour wise its dark brown with its hair tips light brown in colour. Ventral pelage is grey or pale brown in colour, due to the environments that the various squirrels live in around the Philippines you will find their colours vary slightly due to things like diet and surroundings. Its snout is rather short and stubby, long tailed and a single pair of upper and lower incisors. They do have four long claws on the forefoot toes with the thumb being extremely short and inconspicuous.

They can be found all over the Philippines and have been recorded in Mindanao,Basilan, Biliran, Bohol, Dinagat, Homohon, Leyte, Mindanao (Agusan del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur,Samar, Siargao.

 Philippines tree squirrel - Photo courtesy of MRM Duya, Conservation International Philippines. From Mindanao Island, Sultan Kudarat Province.

4 comments for “Philippines Squirrel (locally known as tree squirrel )- Sundasciurus philippinensis

  1. John Cockell
    July 1, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Hi Matt

    I think there has been an explosion of interest in Philippine wildlife recently. It has been named as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, both on land and in the oceans.

    A year ago a large lizard, previously unknown to science, if not the Ifugao people, was discovered, as well as a new carnivorous plant on a Palawan mountain.

    There are reports of an expedition from UP and a Californian Academy which found 300 new species of many kinds.

    I am fortunate in living in Isabela, north-east luzon, the province which contains the Palanan Wilderness Area, the largest protected area in the country, unique in being a rainforest area subject to regular typhoons.


    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      July 1, 2011 at 2:43 am

      I think its an area that the Philippines needs to start doing more to preserve and also develop for tourism. When I look at the diving you will find that back in the 70s people started blacklisting the Philippines due to the damage people were doing to the coral and sea life. Has the trend changed its hard to say but also little gets mentioned about the exploitation of the seas by Thailand, China and other nations illegally fishing hundreds of tons of fish each year from Philippines waters. It was good to see though over in Negros a lot of reserves and sanctuaries and I hope its a sign of things starting to develop in a positive way. There is so much unique wildlife here it should be a global responsibility to preserve it. Sounds like your near a wonderful place do you spend much time in the Palanan wilderness area? What sort of facilities and education does it have there for helping people understand nature and help preserve it?

  2. John Cockell
    July 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Shamed to say I have not visited Palanan Wilderness yet! It is difficult to get to. Air is the only practicable route, the seas are rough and an overland trip would involve a few days over mountains covered in little explored forest and infested with NPA.

    A conservation story I like is the discovery of a crocodile in a river fisherman’s net at San Mariano not so far from here. This was in 1999. I do know that the old folk locally talk about crocs in the rivers but were not believed until that discovery. The croc has been named Margie and a breeding and reintroduction effort has been built up around her. It has given San Mariano a mascot and something that sets the place apart. The animal is properly called Crocodyllus Mindorensis, one of the rarest creatures in the world.

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      July 4, 2011 at 4:27 am

      Good to see some preservation going on, a lot of the problems with the Crocodiles are being blamed on the Japanese eating them during WW2. Sounds like the wildlife park is in the right area keeps a lot of people out of it that helps preserve