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The Dinagat Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat Crateromys australis belongs to the group of Cloud Rats, arboreal and folivorous nocturnal rodents endemic to the forests of the Philippines.Â The species, endemic to a small island Dinagat in the Philippines, was discovered and captured in 1975.Â Since then, despite repeated surveys, no specimen was found until 2012.Â It is listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN Red List and was even believed to be extinct.Â Finally, Dinagat Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat was rediscovered in January 2012 and its presence confirmed on Dinagat Island.Â The rediscovery of this species underlines the local, national and international importance of Dinagat Island (or Dinagat-Siargao cluster of islands), asÂ the most distinct subcentreÂ of species endemism within the Greater Mindanao Faunal Region.Â Unfortunately, only one locally protected area exists on the whole island and none of the last remaining native forest habitats on Dinagat are currently protected at the national level.Â Mining and habitat destruction constitute a serious threat to this species.Â We believe that this rediscovery may provide some important and timelyÂ impetus and urgency to the need for a more rational, scientifically-based and island-wide, development program on Dinagat by also incorporating an island/region-wideÂ biodiversity conservation strategy that would help ensure the effective, longer-term protection of the larger majority of the few remaining natural habitats in this region.Â
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