Date Published: February 2011
The Northern Palm Squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) is a rodent in the Sciuridae family. They are native to India, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. They are considered an adaptable species, occupying a broad range of habitats in their native range. The Northern Palm Squirrel has been introduced and established in Perth and Sydney, although they are no longer present in Sydney. They have also established populations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India and in the French West Indies. The species is a significant pest of fruit and vegetable crops in both its native and introduced ranges and it has been known to ruin electrical wiring and damage amenity trees.
Northern Palm Squirrels are listed as an 'extreme' threat under the Vertebrate Pest Committee's threat categories and are 'controlled animals' under the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002.
This risk assessment estimates that there is a moderate likelihood that Northern Palm Squirrels could establish in Tasmania, with high consequences. The assessment concludes that Northern Palm Squirrels represent a 'serious' threat to Tasmania. It is recommended that imports of Northern Palm Squirrels are restricted to those license holders approved for keeping serious threat species under a number of management conditions.
Northern Palm Squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) (520Kb)