97.
Large Rock Rat
(Cremnomys elvira)
CR
Overview
This poorly-known rat is known only from a few specimens. It is thought to have a highly restricted distribution. Associated with rocky areas in tropical and subtropical dry deciduous scrub forest, this rat is nocturnal and fossorial (adapted for digging). Its habitat is being lost due to conversion of forests to agriculture lands and plantations and fuel-wood collection.
Urgent Conservation Actions
Surveys to locate viable populations of this species, and to identify appropriate areas for conservation.
Distribution
India (Tamil Nadu)
Evolutionary Distinctiveness
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
One of only three species in the genus Cremnomys, the other two being Cremnomys blanfordi (central and southern India, Sri Lanka) and Cremnomys cutchicus (central and southern India).
Description
Size: 
Head and body length: 149 mm
Tail length: 196 mm

The upper parts are brownish grey and the underparts are greyish white. The tail is bicoloured. Its length is thought to be an adaptation to movement among rocks.
Ecology
A nocturnal and fossorial species.
Habitat
Tropical and subtropical dry deciduous scrub forest. Associated with rocky areas.
Distribution
This species is known only from Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. It has been recorded from an elevation of about 600 m asl. Surveys by government agencies have not indicated the presence of this species in other localities which could indicate a highly restricted distribution.
Population Estimate
Unknown.
Status
Listed as Critically Endangered (B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)) on the 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Threats
Habitat loss due to conversion of forests to agriculture lands and plantations and fuel-wood collection.

  
Conservation Underway
Listed in the Schedule V (considered as vermin) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is not known from any protected areas.
Conservation Proposed
Surveys to locate viable populations of this species, and to identify appropriate areas for conservation.

This species is highly recommended for an urgent ex situ programme for insurance purposes due to its very restricted distribution and threat to habitat.
Links
Status of non-volant small mammals: Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P) workshop report.

http://www.zooreach.org/downloads/ZOO_CAMP_PHVA_reports/2005%20Rodent%20CAMP%20report.pdf
References
Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O. 2008. Cremnomys elvira. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 13 August 2011.

Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Walker, S., Nameer, P. O. and Ravikumar, L. 2005. Status of non-volant small mammals: Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P) workshop report. Zoo Outreach Organisation / CBSG-South Asia., Comibatore, India.

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