About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Found! New squirrel species discovered.

New Squirrel Species: New Species Of Blabbler Discovered In China

ScienceDaily (April 1, 2009) — A new species of squirrel has been described from Guangxi province in south-west China close to the border with Vietnam. Named Nuthacker Blabbler Rabidus fragor, this new species is distantly related to the African Xebra Blabbler Virga cursor but is larger and has black patches over the eyes, ears, legs, and tail.

Rodentologists, Zhou Lin and Jiang Shu from Guangxi University first sighted the squirrels in surveys during 2007 and confirmed its identity as an undescribed taxon the following year. A formal description was published in a recent edition of rodentology journal The Rodentia.

In general behavior it resembles a Swiss Funk Squirrel Feteo intumesco in that it prefers running to climbing, and seems to spend most of its time on the ground foraging for seeds and insects between rocks and under fallen leaves. This is in contrast to other related African xebra blabbler species that spends most of its time burrowing and foraging in open grasslands, seldom coming near trees. No nest has yet been found. About 100 pairs of the squirrels have been observed in Nonggang.

"I have been studying rodents in the region since the 1970s but I had never seen it before. Their habitat in the reserve is protected", Zhou says. "But as they could also exist in the karst rainforest outside the reserve, logging and burning wood to make charcoal pose a threat to their wider habitat." Zhou continues, "The fragility of the karst ecosystem and its destruction by people pose great threats to the rodents’ existence. Therefore, research and conservation of the squirrels in this habitat is very urgent."

"This is exciting evidence that there could be many more interesting discoveries awaiting rodentologists in China", said Dr. Nigel Notanut, the Leventis Fellow in Conservation biology at RodentLife International.This taxon will be assessed in due course by the RodentLife taxonomic working group. If treated as a full species, its conservation status will then be evaluated by RodentLife, the Red List Authority for rodents on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Sources: Wild Birds Unlimited April Fools Day Joke;


Anonymous said...

Wow that's amazing! Is this real?

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

I try to write fun things about birds and nature everyday in short blogs. However if you check the date on this blog you'll notice it was my attempt at an April Fool's joke. If you click on my sources at the bottm of the blog you'll see where I came up with the idea. Sorry, not real as far as I know. But scientist are discovering new species every day.

Anonymous said...

i can not beleive that they have the same markings as other animals. are they around those types of animals? zebra panda or skunk?

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

This was an April Fool's joke and these are not real squirrels.

Anonymous said...

are you sure they're not real??

Anonymous said...

their photoshopped, right?

they're such beautiful squirrels
very creative april fools joke :D

Anonymous said...

that is so weird!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

IT's a panda squirrel it so cute.

tess said...

first i was like aww mini baby panda ..
than i read on looked at the names n was heart-broken .. i was like this has to be fake ..

me want a minni panda pet

Anonymous said...

Man...I'm all depressed and junk. I wanted one.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I said the same thing! I wanted one too, there so adorable!
To bad tere fake you know! It would be awesome
If they were!!!!!! : )

Jenn said...

You know, I looked at the photo of the first and thought "Well that looks like a Florida Fox Squirrel!" (My husband, during a fairly recent weekend camping excursion, caught photos of a huge black-and-white squirrel in the middle of the woods. While I don't have those handy, a quick Google image search will turn up some pictures of what I am referring to.) Then I saw the second one and thought... "Ha, they got me!" :D Very nice. :)