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Mount Kahuzi climbing mouse

16 Aug
Mount Kahuzi Climbing mouse

Mount Kahuzi climbing mouse

The Mount Kahuzi climbing mouse (Dendromus kahuziensis) is a rodent found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it can be spotted in Kahuzi Biega National Park , visitors seeking watching the Mount kahuzi Climbing mouse.

Like other climbing mice, this species has a remarkably long, semi-prehensile tail, which is thought to help it grasp twigs and branches whilst climbing. Virtually nothing is known about the habits of this species. It is known from just two specimens collected from localities 100 m apart. Other surveys in the area have failed to find the species, suggesting that is rare and has a narrow range. It is thought to be threatened by habitat loss brought about by fire and illegal logging.

It is listed as a critically endangered species due to illegal logging; it is also threatened by fire. Only two specimens have ever been found. Both were found within 100m of each other on Mount Kahuzi. Its body length (excluding tail) is 50-100mm and its tail length is 65-132mm. Its habitat is tropical forests, and to navigate these forests it may use its semi-prehensile tail to hold on to tree branches. Its markings are brownish on the top and white to yellow on its underside, with strongly dark rings around its eyes. As with other Dendromus, it has three well defined toes.

Ecology

Little is known about the ecology of this species. It may be arboreal – as its common name suggests, it is probably a good climber, using its long semi-prehensile tail to grasp twigs and branches. The animals are thought to be primarily nocturnal, spending the hours of daylight in small spherical nests of shredded vegetation. Most related species build their nests off the ground, although some are known to nest in underground burrows. The diet probably consists of seeds, berries, insects, small lizards, bird’s eggs and nestlings. The litter size of other species in this group is 2-8.

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