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Common Name : Palm Squirrel     -       Scientific Name : Funambulus palmarum       -       Other Name : Indian Palm Squirrel (E), Lena (S)
07/31/2016
07/31/2016

This is one of the most common mammals found throughout the country and can be seen from the deep jungles to the cities and from the cloud forests to the cost. Four subspecies have been recognized based on the colour of stripes on its back.  Funambulus palmarum favonicus with light grey-brown is found in the wet zone. Funambulus palmarum olympias, which is found in the hill country, has a white central stripe and very light grey-brown side stripes. The subspecies found in the north-central province up to the Jaffna peninsula with light brown stripes is referred to a Funambulus palmarum brodei and the fourth subspecies, Funambulus palmarum kelaarti with whitish stripes is found in the south and southeastern parts of the country. Other than in Sri Lanka this species is also found in southern India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This is a common visitor to any home garden in the country and can be often found in the company of Southern Common Babblers. They usually feed on fruits, flowers, nuts and seeds etc. I have observed these squirrels feeding on a day old chick of the Red-vented bul bul.

This is a very common species in Wilpattu and can be seen through out the park. The alarm call of this species is quite useful in locating leopards at Wilpattu.