Title

Biological observations on the cloud rat (Phloeomys pallidus) reared in captivity.

Date of Publication

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biology Major in Ecology

College

College of Science

Department/Unit

Biology

Thesis Adviser

Claveria, Dr. Florencia G.

Defense Panel Member

Cabrera, Dr. Esperanza
Carandang, Dr. Jose S., VI
Santiago, Dr. Florenda
Oliver, William
De La Paz, Reynaldo

Abstract/Summary

Phloeomys pallidus, a species of cloud rat of natural occurrence in Benguet Province and among other areas in Northern Luzon was reared in captivity for a period of 16 months. Biological attributes and behavior of the animals were observed and monitored. Test species consisting of 7 males and 5 females had a mean body length increment (X = 22.56 +/- 10.6 mm) after the study period which was not significant. However, increase in weight (X + 0.471 +/- 0.15 kg) was found to be highly significant and this could be attributed to the various activities undertaken by the animals in terms of feeding and behavior.The captive animals were observed to be selective vegetarians. Preference for fruits like bananas and chayote differed significantly from preference for sweet potato tubers and leafy diet consisting of sweet potato and chayote leaves. A cloud rat consumed an average of 412.34 g of mixed diet daily. Feeding was at about 6:00 in the evening owing to the nocturnal habits of the animals.In captivity, cloud rats exhibited various activities such as feeding, playing, climbing, grooming and resting.Duration and intensity of movements were influenced by the time of the night and also by weather and climate. Peaks of activities happened during early evening. The cloud rats were found to be very active during the warm weather in February to May. Less activity occurred during the rainy season (June-September) as they confined themselves most of the time inside the nesting boxes. Resting was for longer durations as feeding decreased. Increased activity, took place however, during the cold months of November to January, as compared to the rainy season.
A female was in estrus when it allowed the male to groom her and sniff or nose her anogenital area. Gestation which was observed in one female cloud rat with 2 births was for a period of 60 +/- 5 days. Interval between births was 6 to 8 months. A pregnant female weighed an additional 175-200 grams. Of the 5 females used in the study only 2 gave birth with 3 and 2 births each. There was only one neonate per birth. The mother was very protective of its young as it allowed the neonate to be constantly attached to its teats for a period of 4 weeks.Growth and development was most rapid during the first 15 weeks which was the nursing period. A neonate was completely weaned at age 16 weeks.The cloud rats reared were able to adapt to the captive conditions as they survived and bred. Breeding in captivity could be one of the best means for observing biological attributes and various behavior of a species, more so with wildlife and nocturnal animals.

Abstract Format

html

Format

Print

Accession Number

TG02782

Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

113 leaves

Keywords

Rats -- Ecology.; Animal ecology.; Species.; Habitat selection.

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