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Vangunu giant rat

rodent of genus Uromys
(Redirected from Hikuna Judge)

The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae.[1][2] The rat was discovered in the island of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands in 2015,,[3] after years of searching based on local stories, and described in 2017.[4] It was identified as a new species on the basis of its skull, skeleton and a detailed DNA analysis.[1]

Vangunu giant rat
Scientific classification
U. vika
Binomial name
Uromys vika
Lavery et al, 2017

Discovery and publicationEdit

In November 2015 a wildlife ranger (Hikuna Judge) from the Zaira Conservation Area,[5] saw something (outside the conservation area): "a large rat ... [falling] from a 10m tree felled by loggers. The fall killed the rat - but the ranger shipped it to the Queensland Museum, in Australia, where ... Lavery was a fellow". Tyrone Lavery and Hikuna Judge published a species description, in 2017.[4]


The rat fell of a tree, outside Zaira, a village on Vangunu Island.[6]

The species is likely to be called critically endangered, because of the small amount of forest habitat (about 80 km2) remaining on the island and ongoing logging.[1][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Young, E. (27 September 2017). "Giant, tree-dwelling rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22684. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field Museum (27 September 2017). "Tree-dwelling, coconut-cracking giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Press release. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  3. Choi, C. (26 September 2017), "Discovered: A Giant, Tree-Dwelling Rat that Munches Coconuts", Discover magazine, retrieved 2017-09-27
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lavery, T. H.; Judge, H.; A new species of giant rat (Muridae, Uromys) from Vangunu, Solomon Islands, Journal of Mammalogy, gyx116,