DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

The Black Giant Squirrel or Malayan Giant Squirrel

  • The black giant squirrel or Malayan giant squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) is a large tree squirrel in the genus Ratufa native to the Indomalayan  zootope.
  • It is found in forests from northern Bangladesh, northeast India, eastern Nepal, Bhutan, southern China,  Myanmar,  Laos,  Thailand,  Malaysia,  Cambodia, Vietnam, and western Indonesia  (Java, Sumatra, Bali and nearby small islands).

In India

  • The Malayan Gaint Squirrel, one of the world’s largest squirrel, one of the world’s largest squirrel species that has the dark upper body, pale underparts, and a long, bushy tail, is currently found in parts of the West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.
  • According to the study, the Malayan Giant Squirrel and its habitat are under threat from deforestation, fragmentation of forests, crop cultivation and over-harvesting of food, illegal trade in wildlife, and hunting for consumption. Slash-and-burn jhum cultivation in many areas of the Northeast contributes to the destruction of its habitat.
  •  It is found mostly in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, from plains to hills at elevations of 50 m to 1,500m above sea level. India, some 20% of the population of the species is found at elevations between 1,500m and 2,700m; the rest live in the plains and up to 1,500m. Of the roughly 1.84 lakh sq km of the squirrel’s range in Asia, about 8.5 per cent (15,635 sq km) is in India. The species is listed as Near Threatened on IUCN’s 2016 list, and it is protected under India’s Wildlife ProtectionAct

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