These gorgeous little fellows are just about everywhere in Bali. They are very curios and can be quite friendly, even touchable at times. They are not known to carry the Rabies virus (which is good to know) They are very quick and can be hard to get a good photo of, if you don’t have the patients.
The Plantain Squirrel is extremely adaptable, occurring in a wide range of habitats including secondary and coastal forest, mangrove, plantations, parklands and semi-urban areas. Diurnal in habits it feeds mainly on fruits, especially those planted by man such as Rambutan and Jackfruit, however it will also eat insects such as ants.
It is easily identified by the two cream and black stripes on the sides, the orange belly, and the lack of a pale spot behind the ear. The upper side is brown. As with most other Callosciurus species, the nest consists of a spherical arrangement of twigs and leaves, lined with fur and with a round entrance hole. This can be located from around 5 metres above the ground to much greater heights where the canopy allows.
The species ranges from Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Borneo. In Singapore it is abundant and has adapted well to urbanization. Six subspecies are recognised.
Here in Australia we live with the threat of fire every day, during summer. Our natural bushland does thrive on these fires for its rejuvenation, but unfortunately many are lit purposely. Sadly wildlife and people’s homes come under a real threat of being destroyed. The photos here are of a local fire, possibly lit by arsonists the week before Christmas.