News: Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has projected that numbers of the Malayan Giant Squirrel could decline by 90% in India by 2050 and it could be extinct by then if urgent steps are not taken.
About the Species: Malayan giant squirrel or Black Giant Squirrel is one of the world’s largest squirrel species.
- IUCN Status: Near Threatened
- CITES: Appendix II.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
Habitat: It is distributed across Bangladesh, Northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
- Features: It has a dark upper body, pale under parts, and a long, bushy tail.
- Food Habits: The species is omnivorous and feeds on fruits, flowers, nuts, bark, bird eggs and insects.
Significance: The giant squirrel is considered as a forest health indicator species.An indicator species provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.
Threats: Deforestation, fragmentation of forests, crop cultivation and over-harvesting of food, illegal trade in wildlife, hunting for consumption. and Slash-and-burn jhum cultivation.