Surveys between 1995 and 1999 brought the number of mammal species known to occur on the remote Sangihe and Talaud islands, Indonesia, from 34 to 37, of which 30 are indigenous and 22 are bats. Populations of bear cuscus Ailurops ursinus and Sulawesi small cuscus Strigocuscus celebensis are represented by endemic subspecies, whilst five little-studied species (Talaud Islands flying fox Acerodon humilis, Sangihe tarsier Tarsius sangirensis, Sangihe squirrel Prosciurillus rosenbergi, short-tailed Talaud melomys Melomys caurinus and long-tailed Talaud melomys M. talaudium) are endemic to the archipelago. Two squirrel species were recorded on Sangihe for the first time: Sulawesi dwarf squirrel P. murinus and Sulawesi giant squirrel Rubrisciurus rubriventer. In total, eight species occurring on the islands are categorized as globally threatened on the 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss and hunting are the main threats on the Sangihe islands, where only 800 ha of primary forest remain. Large areas of Karakelang, in the Talaud Islands, are still forested, and a 24,669 ha wildlife reserve has been recently established. The main pressure facing mammal species on the Talaud Islands is hunting, particularly mist-netting of fruit bats for local consumption and trade. In order to control hunting and prevent further forest loss and degradation, future conservation efforts should focus on community-based conservation, in particular raising community awareness and increasing law enforcement. Two concurrent projects are now tackling some of these issues.
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