Black giant squirrel

Ratufa bicolor

The black giant squirrel 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.
Giant Black Squirrel Giant black squirell in a hillside forest near Siem Reap, Cambodia. Spotted on the foot path up to Kbal Spean, a jungle waterfall temple. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kbal_Spean

At first they seemed like skunks jumping around in the trees, we didn't think they were squirrels until someone told us, though it's obvious in retrospect.  Black giant squirrel,Cambodia,Geotagged,Ratufa bicolor,Winter,asia,black-giant-squirrel,cambodia,giant-black-squirrel,squirrel,travel

Appearance

Head and body length varies from 35 to 58 centimetres in length, and the tail is up to 60 centimetres long, with an overall length of up to 118 centimetres . The back, ears and bushy tail are deep brown to black with a lighter buff-colored belly.
The black giant squirrel We were chasing after some warning calls, and possible tiger sighting, when the driver slammed on the breaks and was excited to see this squirrel. It had not been seen all season thus far! Black giant squirrel,Geotagged,India,Kaziranga,Ratufa bicolor,Spring,adhocphotographer,india,john rowell

Behavior

R. bicolor is diurnal and arboreal, but sometimes climbs down from the forest canopy to feed on the ground. The black giant squirrel rarely enters plantations or settlements, preferring the wild forest.

Its diet consists of seeds, pine cones, fruits and leaves. It is primarily solitary, and has a litter of from 1 to 2 young, which it raises in a drey , often located within a hollow space of a tree.
Giant Black Squirell in Cambodia Giant black squirell in a hillside forest near Siem Reap, Cambodia. Spotted on the foot path up to Kbal Spean, a jungle waterfall temple. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kbal_Spean Black giant squirrel,Ratufa bicolor,aperture-exporter,asia,black-giant-squirrel,cambodia,giant-black-squirell,squirrel,travel

Habitat

Ratufa bicolor's range includes a variety of bioregions that all share the commonality of being forested. It ranges in elevation from sea level up to at least 1,400 metres , in some of the most rugged land in the world. However, in recent decades, R. bicolor's habitat has been steadily encroached upon by human settlement, timber harvesting and agriculture, which along with overhunting by human predation in parts of its range, has resulted in a total loss of up to 30% of the population in the past ten years. However, in some places this species is protected from hunting by law or tradition.

In South Asia R. bicolor dwells among tropical and subtropical coniferous and broadleaf forests.

In Southeast Asia R. bicolor lives in tropical broadleaf evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, but is rarely seen in coniferous forests.

In the tropical rainforest of the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, R. bicolor is not as abundant as elsewhere in its range, which is probably due to competition from other arboreal species for food in the upper forest canopy.

Among the better places to sight the black giant squirrel is the Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam, India.

References:

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Status: Near threatened
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderRodentia
FamilySciuridae
GenusRatufa
SpeciesR. bicolor