Northern Luzon giant cloud rat (Phloeomys pallidus)

Northern Luzon giant cloud rat close up
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Northern Luzon giant cloud rat fact file

Northern Luzon giant cloud rat description

GenusPhloeomys (1)

This forest-dwelling rodent is a timid animal (4), with a coat of long, somewhat rough, fur (2) (3) (5). The colour of its fur is highly variable, although most have a striking combination of predominantly white to pale grey fur, with dark brown or black markings on the face and body (6) (7). Pure white specimens are also known, and brown and grey-black forms have also been reported, although whether these are the same species needs to be confirmed (6). Captive specimens may be reddish, possibly due to their diet (7). The northern Luzon giant cloud rat has small ears, long, sensitive whiskers growing from around a blunt muzzle (2) (5), and a densely furred tail (6). Its large hindfeet and long claws hint at its excellent tree-climbing abilities (5).

Also known as
Northern Luzon rind rat, slender-tailed cloud rat.
Total length: 690 – 750 mm (2) (3)
Tail length: 300 – 320 mm (2) (3)
up to 2.6 kg (3)

Northern Luzon giant cloud rat biology

This nocturnal rat is primarily a tree-dwelling animal that spends most of its time high up in the branches of trees, but can also be seen on the forest floor, moving at a relatively sluggish pace (2) (5). The diet of this cloud rat in the wild is not fully known (5), but may comprise mainly of tender young leaves (2) (4), although they also eat fruit and reportedly raids crops (7).

Information regarding the breeding biology of Phloeomys species also comes from captivity, where births have been recorded in every month of the year except January, March and May (5). In the wild, a pregnant female was found in August. Cloud rats give birth to only one young each year (5), which is born in the hollow of a standing or fallen tree, or in a hole in the ground (6). The mother carries her young firmly attached to a nipple. In captivity, one individual lived for over 13 years (5).


Northern Luzon giant cloud rat range

As its name suggests, this rodent is endemic the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it is found in the northern and central provinces (6).


Northern Luzon giant cloud rat habitat

The Northern Luzon giant cloud rat inhabits lowland tropical rainforest and montane rainforest, from sea level up to the high mountains, to at least 2,200 metres (3) (5) (6).


Northern Luzon giant cloud rat status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Northern Luzon giant cloud rat threats

While this species is widespread and reported to be locally abundant (3) (5), the stability of populations of this cloud rat is threatened by the destruction of forests and hunting (4). Vast swathes of forest in the Philippines have been subject to commercial logging and clearing fro agriculture (8), and this species, along with other cloud rats of the Philippines, is intensively hunted by local people for food (5).


Northern Luzon giant cloud rat conservation

This species is legally protected from hunting, except by indigenous people using traditional methods. Giant cloud rats occur in several national parks and other protected areas (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on conservation in the Philippines see:



Authenticated (28/08/08) by Dr Lawrence Heaney, Curator and Head of the Division of Mammals, The Field Museum, Chicago.



A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Active at night.


  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
  2. Rabor, D.S. (1986) Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna. Natural Resources Management Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines.
  3. Heaney, L.R. (2008) Pers. comm.
  4. Haribon Foundation (May, 2008)
  5. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
  6. Oliver, W.L.R., Cox, C.R., Gonzales, P.C. and Heaney, L.R. (1993) Cloud rats in the Philippines – preliminary report on distribution and status. Oryx, 27(1): 41 - 48.
  7. Rickart, E. (2008) Pers. comm.
  8. Mittermeier, R.A., Robles-Gil, P., Hoffmann, M., Pilgrim, J.D., Brooks, T.M., Mittermeier, C.G., Lamoreux, J.L. and Fonseca, G. (2004) Hotspots Revisited: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Ecoregions. Cemex, Mexico City.

Image credit

Northern Luzon giant cloud rat  close up  
Northern Luzon giant cloud rat close up

© Daniel Heuclin /

NHPA/Photoshot Holdings Ltd
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