The binturong (/bɪnˈtuːrɒŋ/ bin-TOO-rong) (Arctictis binturong), also known as bearcat, is a viverrid native to South and Southeast Asia. It is uncommon in much of its range, and has been assessed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of a declining population trend that is estimated at more than 30% over the last three decades.
Although called 'bearcat', this omnivorous mammal is not closely related to either bears or cats but to the palm civets of Asia. It is a monotypic genus. Its genus name Arctictis means 'bear-weasel', from Greek arkt- 'bear' + iktis 'weasel'.
The body of the binturong is long and heavy, with short, stout legs. It has a thick fur of strong black hair. The bushy and prehensile tail is thick at the root, gradually diminishing in size to the extremity, where it curls inwards. The muzzle is short and pointed, somewhat turned up at the nose, and is covered with bristly hairs, brown at the points, which lengthen as they diverge, and form a peculiar radiated circle round the face. The eyes are large, black and prominent. The ears are short, rounded, edged with white, and terminated by tufts of black hair. There are six short rounded incisors in each jaw, two canines, which are long and sharp, and six molars on each side. The hair on the legs is short and of a yellowish tinge. The feet are five-toed, with large strong claws; the soles are bare, and applied to the ground throughout the whole of their length; the hind ones are longer than the fore.
In general build the binturong is essentially like Paradoxurus and Paguma but more massive in the length of the tail, legs and feet, in the structure of the scent glands and larger size of rhinarium, which is more convex with a median groove being much narrower above the philtrum. The contour hairs of the coat are much longer and coarser, and the long hairs clothing the whole of the back of the ears project beyond the tip as a definite tuft. The anterior bursa flap of the ears is more widely and less deeply emarginate. The tail is more muscular, especially at the base, and in colour generally like the body, but commonly paler at the base beneath. The body hairs are frequently partly whitish or buff, giving a speckled appearance to the pelage, sometimes so pale that the whole body is mostly straw-coloured or grey, the young being often at all events paler than the adults, but the head is always closely speckled with grey or buff. The long mystacial vibrissae are conspicuously white, and there is a white rim on the summit of the otherwise black ear. The glandular area is whitish.
The tail is nearly as long as the head and body, which ranges from 28 to 33 in (71 to 84 cm); the tail is 26 to 27 in (66 to 69 cm) long. Some captive binturongs measured from 2 ft 6 in (76 cm) to 3 ft (91 cm) in head and body with a tail of 2 ft 4 in (71 cm). Mean weight of captive adult females is 21.9 kg (48 lb) with a range from 11 to 32 kg (24 to 71 lb). Captive animals often weigh more than wild counterparts.
Both sexes have scent glands; in females on either side of the vulva, in males between the scrotum and penis. Their musk glands emit an odor reminiscent of popcorn or corn chips, likely due to the volatile compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, found in their urine, which is also produced in the Maillard reaction at high temperatures.
Binturongs occur from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Yunnan in China, and from Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java in Indonesia to Palawan in the Philippines.
Binturongs are confined to tall forest. They are not uncommon in the forested plains and hills throughout Assam, but more common in foothills and hills with good tree cover. They have been recorded in Manas National Park, in Dulung and Kakoi Reserved Forests of the Lakhimpur district, in the hill forests of Karbi Anglong, North Cachar Hills, Cachar and Hailakandi Districts. In Myanmar, binturongs were photographed on the ground in the Tanintharyi Nature Reserve at an altitude of 60 m (200 ft), in the Hukaung Valley at altitudes from 220–280 m (720–920 ft), in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Reserve at 580 m (1,900 ft) and at three other sites up to 1,190 m (3,900 ft) elevation. In Thailand's Khao Yai National Park, several individuals were observed feeding in a fig tree and on a vine. In Laos, they have been observed in extensive evergreen forest. In Malaysia, binturongs were recorded in secondary forest surrounding a palm estate that was logged in the 1970s. In Palawan, they are found in primary and secondary lowland forest, including grassland–forest mosaic from sea level to 400 m (1,300 ft).
The Binturong is active during the day and at night. Three sightings in Pakke Tiger Reserve were by day. Thirteen camera trap photograph events in Myanmar involved one around dusk, seven in full night and five in broad daylight. All photographs were of single animals, and all were taken on the ground. As binturongs are not very nimble, they may have to descend to the ground relatively frequently when moving between trees.
Five radio-collared binturongs in the Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary exhibited an arrhythmic activity dominated by crepuscular and nocturnal tendencies with peaks in the early morning and late evening. Reduced inactivity periods occurred from midday to late afternoon. They moved between 25 m (82 ft) and 2,698 m (8,852 ft) daily in the dry season and increased their daily movement to 4,143 m (13,593 ft) in the wet season. Ranges sizes of males varied between 0.9 km2 (0.35 sq mi) and 6.1 km2 (2.4 sq mi). Two males showed slightly larger ranges in the wet season. Their ranges overlapped between 30–70%. The average home range of a radio-collared female in the Khao Yai National Park was estimated at 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi), and the one of a male at 4.5 to 20.5 km2 (1.7 to 7.9 sq mi).
The binturong is essentially arboreal. Pocock observed the behaviour of several captive individuals in the London Zoological Gardens. When resting they lie curled up, with the head tucked under the tail. They seldom leaped, but climbed skillfully, albeit slowly, progressing with equal ease and confidence along the upper side of branches or, upside down, beneath them. The prehensile tail was always ready as a help. They descended the vertical bars of the cage head first, gripping them between their paws and using the prehensile tail as a check. When irritated they growled fiercely. When on the prowl they periodically uttered a series of low grunts or a hissing sound made by expelling air through partially opened lips.
The binturong uses the tail to communicate. It moves about gently, often coming to a stop, and often using the tail to keep balance, clinging to a branch. It shows a pronounced comfort behaviour associated with grooming the fur, shaking and licking the hair, and scratching. Shaking is the most characteristic element of comfort behaviour.
The species is normally quite shy, but aggressive when harassed. It is reported to initially urinate or defecate on a threat and then, if teeth-baring and snarling does not deter the threat, it uses its powerful jaws and teeth in self-defense. When threatened, the binturong will usually flee into a nearby tree, but as a defense mechanism the binturong may sometimes balance on its tail and flash its claws to appear threatening to potential predators. Predation on adult binturong is reportedly quite rare by sympatric species like leopard, clouded leopard and reticulated python.
Binturongs are omnivorous, feeding on small mammals, birds, fish, earthworms, insects and fruits. Captive binturongs are particularly fond of plantains, but would also eat fowls' heads and eggs. They also prey on rodents. Fish and earthworms are likely unimportant items in their diet, as they are neither aquatic nor fossorial, coming across such prey only when opportunities present themselves. Since they do not have the attributes of a predatory mammal, most of the binturong's diet is probably of vegetable matter. Figs are a major component of their diet.
The average age of sexual maturation is 30.4 months for females and 27.7 months for males. The estrous cycle of the binturong lasts 18 to 187 days, with an average of 82.5 days. Gestation lasts 84 to 99 days. Litter size in captivity varies from one to six young, with an average of two young per birth. Neonates weigh between 283.8 and 340.5 g (0.626 and 0.751 lb). Fertility lasts until 15 years of age.
The maximum known lifespan in captivity is thought to be over 25 years of age.
Major threats to the binturong are habitat loss and degradation of forests through logging and conversion of forests to non-forest land-uses throughout the binturong's range. Habitat loss has been severe in the lowlands of the Sundaic part of its range, and there is no evidence that the binturong uses the plantations that are largely replacing natural forest. In China, rampant deforestation and opportunistic logging practices have fragmented suitable habitat or eliminated sites altogether. In the Philippines, it is captured for the wildlife trade, and in the south of its range it is also taken for human consumption. In Laos, it is one of the most frequently displayed caged live carnivores and skins are traded frequently in at least Vientiane. In parts of Laos, it is considered a delicacy and also traded as a food item to Vietnam.
The Orang Asli of Malaysia keep binturong as pets.
Binturongs are common in zoos, and captive individuals represent a source of genetic diversity essential for long-term conservation. Typically, zoo animals have unknown geographic origin or are the offspring of several generations of captive-bred animals with no information on the geographic origin of the founders.
In captivity, the binturong has been noted for its intelligence as well as its curious disposition. However, its occasional ill-temperament makes it a difficult pet at best and it is better handled by experienced wildlife handlers and zookeepers.
The Cincinnati Zoo brings a captive binturong named Lucy to various sporting events for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. She is quite tame, and alternates between perching on her handler's shoulder and walking around on a leash, similar to a housepet.
2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) is an aroma compound and flavor that gives white bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice, the spice pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius), and bread flowers (Vallaris glabra) their customary smell. Many observers describe the smell as similar to "hot, buttered popcorn", and it is credited for lending this odor to the scent of binturong (bearcat) urine. Fresh MF (Marking fluid) and urine of the tiger (Indian, Amur or Siberian) and Indian leopard also have a strong aroma due 2AP.2AP and its structural homolog, 6-acetyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine of similar smell, can be formed by Maillard reactions during heating of food such as the baking of bread dough. Both compounds have odor thresholds below 0.06 ng/l.The chemical has a boiling point of 104–105 °C (219–221 °F).Asiatic linsang
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Biodiversity of Assam
The biodiversity of Assam, a state in North-East India, makes it a biological hotspot with many rare and endemic plant and animal species. The greatest success in recent years has been the conservation of the Indian rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park, but a rapid increase in human population in Assam threatens many plants and animals and their natural habitats.
The rhinoceros, tiger, deer or chital / futukihorina (Axis axis), swamp deer or dolhorina (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), hoolock gibbon, pygmy hog or nol-gahori (Porcula salvania), hispid hare, golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), golden cat, giant civet, binturong, hog badger, porcupine, and civet are found in Assam. Moreover, there are abundant numbers of Gangetic dolphins, mongooses, giant squirrels and pythons. The largest population of wild water buffalo anywhere is in Assam.The major birds in Assam include the blue-throated barbet or hetuluka (Megalaima asiatica), white-winged wood duck or deuhnah (Asarcornis scultulata), ring-tailed fishing eagle or kuruwa (Haliaeetus leucorythus), great pied hornbill or rajdhonesh (Buceros bicornis homrai), Himalayan golden-backed three-toed wood-pecker or barhoituka (Dinopium shorii shorii), and migratory pelican.
Assam is also known for orchids and for valuable plant species and forest products.Fauna of Bhutan
The fauna of Bhutan refers to the animal species that live in Bhutan. Because of its unique geographical location and relatively well preserved natural environment, the fauna of Bhutan is the richest among Asian countries of comparable dimensions. There are an estimate of more than 160 mammal species.In a narrow tropical and subtropical zone, located along the southern border of the Himalayas, the mammals include Asian elephant, Indian rhinoceros, gaur, Asian buffalo, hog deer, clouded leopard, binturong, barasingha, pygmy hog, bristly rabbit, endemic golden langur and the sloth bear and birds - hornbills and trogons. In these forests there are snakes, mosquitoes and many other insects.Feliformia
Feliformia (also Feloidea) is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "cat-like" carnivorans, including cats (large and small), hyenas, mongooses, civets, and related taxa. Feliformia stands in contrast to the other suborder of Carnivora, Caniformia ("dog-like" carnivorans).
The separation of the Carnivora into the broad groups of feliforms and caniforms is widely accepted, as is the definition of Feliformia and Caniformia as suborders (sometimes superfamilies). The classification of feliforms as part of the Feliformia suborder or under separate groupings continues to evolve.
Systematic classifications dealing with only extant taxa include all feliforms into the Feliformia suborder, though variations exist in the definition and grouping of families and genera. Indeed, molecular phylogenies suggest that all extant Feliformia are monophyletic.The extant families as reflected in the taxa chart at right and the discussions in this article reflect the most contemporary and well-supported views (as at the time of writing this article).
Systematic classifications dealing with both extant and extinct taxa vary more widely. Some separate the feliforms (extant and extinct) as: Aeluroidea (superfamily) and Feliformia (suborder). Others include all feliforms (extant, extinct and "possible ancestors") into the Feliformia suborder. Some studies suggest this inclusion of "possible ancestors" into Feliformia (or even Carnivora) may be spurious. The extinct (†) families as reflected in the taxa chart are the least problematic in terms of their relationship with extant feliforms (with the most problematic being Nimravidae).Ferret-badger
Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.
Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)
Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)Hypocarnivore
A hypocarnivore is an animal that consumes less than 30% meat for its diet, the majority of which consists of non-vertebrate foods that may include fungi, fruits, and other plant material. Examples of living hypocarnivores are the grizzly bear (Ursus horribilis), black bear (Ursus americanus), binturong (Arctictis binturong), kinkajou (Potos flavus) and humans.
The evolutionary division of carnivory into three groups, including hypercarnivore and mesocarnivore, appears to have occurred about 40 million years ago (mya). The term hypocarnivory is used with increasing frequency in describing early Canidae evolution, and reliance upon that survival strategy has a documented history in North American Borophaginae during the Miocene (23.03 to 5.33 mya). Twenty-five species of hypocarnivore co-occurred on the North American continent 30 mya. A shift from hyper- to hypo- occurred at least three times among Oligocene and Miocene canids Oxetocyon, Phlaocyon, and Cynarctus.
Large hypocarnivores (Ursus) were rare and developed in the mid-to-late Miocene-Pliocene as Borophaginae became extinct.Kakoijana reserved forest
Kakoijana reserved forest is located near Abhayapuri in Bongaigaon district of Assam. The forest is famous for golden langur. The forest is 17.24 km2.The forest consist of around 60 endangered Golden langurs as well as scheduled I endangered species. People and non-governmental organisations are pressing hard to convert it into an wildlife sanctuary. Golden langurs are listed in the category of "rare species" in the Red Data Book of International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is home to rarest & highly endangered species like Binturong, Jungle Fowl, Pangolin, Hornbill, Leopard, Porcupine, Python, Lesser Adjutant, Stork, Flying Squirrel, Monitor Lizard, Barking Deer, Mongoose, Civets, Jungle Cat, Wild Cat.
Many research work has been done on primates here.List of species protected by CITES Appendix III
This is a list of species of plants and animals protected by Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, commonly abbreviated as CITES. There are no fungi listed in any appendix.
List of species protected by CITES Appendix I
List of species protected by CITES Appendix IILutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Palawan binturong
Arctictis binturong whitei is a subspecies of the binturong, a mammal in the family Viverridae. It is known commonly as the Palawan binturong and Palawan bearcat. It is endemic to the island of Palawan in the Philippines.Paradoxurinae
The Paradoxurinae are a subfamily of the viverrids that was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.Pocock subordinated the oriental genera Paradoxurus, Paguma and Arctictis to this subfamily.Prehensile tail
A prehensile tail is the tail of an animal that has adapted to be able to grasp or hold objects. Fully prehensile tails can be used to hold and manipulate objects, and in particular to aid arboreal creatures in finding and eating food in the trees. If the tail cannot be used for this it is considered only partially prehensile - such tails are often used to anchor an animal's body to dangle from a branch, or as an aid for climbing. The term prehensile means "able to grasp" (from the Latin prehendere, to take hold of, to grasp).Ten'edn
Ten'edn, also known as Kensiu and Mos in Thailand and, in some previous literature, Tonga, is an aboriginal Mon–Khmer language spoken by the Maniq tribe of Thailand and Malaya.
According to Benjamin (2012), Maniq (Məniʔ, Maniʔ) can refer to the following three or more speech varieties:
Teanean (Ten'en, Tɛnʔɛn, Tean-ean)Viverridae
Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids (), comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Members of this family are commonly called civets or genets. Viverrids are found in South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line, all over Africa, and into southern Europe. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.Zodiac Zoos
Zodiac Zoos (officially Zodiac Zoos B.V.) is a Dutch corporation that owns and operates Aqua Zoo Friesland, Zoo Wissel, Zoo Labyrinth Boekelo, Zoo Park Overloon, and Castle Arcen.The Zodiac Animals Foundation manages the animal collection of the Zodiac Zoos, which includes agile mangabeys, pygmy hippopotamuses, ruffed lemurs, cheetahs, ring-tailed lemurs, Parma wallaby, Kirk’s dik-dik, binturong, Von der Decken’s hornbill, cotton-top tamarins, white-cheeked gibbons, lion-tailed macaques, and Humboldt penguins.Zodiac Zoos, together with the Van Hall Institute of the College Zoo in Leeuwarden have created an internship program in which animal management students can intern at one of the Zodiac zoos.
Extant Carnivora species