Brown palm civet

The brown palm civet (Paradoxurus jerdoni) also called the Jerdon's palm civet is a palm civet endemic to the Western Ghats of India.[1]

Brown palm civet
Illustration by Joseph Smit (1885)
Scientific classification
P. jerdoni
Binomial name
Paradoxurus jerdoni[2]
Blanford, 1885
Jerdon's Palm Civet area
Brown palm civet range


Dentition. The anterior palatine foramina are longer than in other species in the genus.[3]

The brown palm civet has a uniformly brown pelage, darker around the head, neck, shoulder, legs, and tail. Sometimes the pelage may be slightly grizzled. Two subspecies have been described on the basis of the colour of the pelage although the colour is extremely variable, ranging from pale buff or light brown to dark brown. The dark tail sometimes has a white or pale-yellow tip. It has no distinct markings on the body or the face as in the common palm civet. A distinctive feature is the reversed direction of hair growth on the nape, similar to that in the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis) of Sri Lanka. It is about as large as the common palm civet, but with a long and sleek tail. The body weight of the males ranges from 3.6 kg to 4.3 kg, head and body length 430 mm to 620 mm, and tail length from 380 to 530 mm.[4][3][5] The species was described in 1885 on the basis of a skull and pelt obtained in Kodaikanal by Mr F. Levinge and forwarded by Rev. S. B. Fairbank to Blanford. Blanford noted the long foramen on the anterior palate. He also found the pelt matching another specimen collected by Francis Day. Blanford named the species in honour of T. C. Jerdon.[6] Subspecies caniscus was described by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a specimen collected at Virajpet in southern Coorg.[7]

There are two subspecies, the nominate P. j. jerdoni and P. j. caniscus.[2] The Sulawesi palm civet is sometimes referred to by the same English name due to its brown colour.[8]

Distribution and habitat

MG 1528 Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni Neelakandan Madavana aka Anil
Brown palm civet in its natural habitat from Munnar, Kerala.

The brown palm civet's distribution extends from the southern tip of Western Ghats in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve to Castle Rock in Goa to the north.[9] They are nocturnal, and not as rare as previously thought and sight records of the species in Kodaikanal and Ootacamund where they were earlier considered to be locally extinct are an indication of their ability to go unnoticed.[4]

The brown palm civet occurs in fragmented landscapes containing remnants of tropical rainforest amid commercially exploited land patches such as tea and coffee plantations. Their ability to persist in such landscapes depends on the occurrence of a diversity of fruit tree species in these areas such as shade trees in coffee plantations.[10]

Ecology and behaviour

BrownPalmCivet DSC 2101
Brown palm civet resting in the fork of a tree branch in the Anamalai hills

Brown palm civets are solitary and nocturnal. They rest during the day in day-bed sites, such as tree hollows, canopy vine tangles, Indian giant squirrel nests and forks of branches. The day-bed trees are large and are usually in dense mature forest stands with high canopy connectivity. They sometimes rest in the night in open branches.[11]


Brown palm civet
Brown palm civet feeding on a fig

The brown palm civet is a key mammalian seed disperser in the Western Ghats rainforest by being predominantly frugivorous and dispersing a diverse array of plant species. Fruits form a large proportion (97 per cent) of its diet and more than 53 native and four introduced species of plants have been recorded. The diet patterns vary across years and even within the same year. They adapt to climatic variations in fruit availability by feeding on a diverse range of species of invertebrates and vertebrates. They eat fruits of trees and lianas, rarely those of herbs or shrubs. The diet is mostly composed of small (<1 cm diameter), many seeded, pulpy berries, and drupes with moderate to high water content, along with several large (>2 cm) fruits like Palaquium ellipticum, Elaeocarpus serratus, Holigarna nigra, and Knema attenuata.[12] They have also been recorded feeding on flowers such as those of Cullenia exarillata[13] and Syzygium species.[12]


Because of its large range and presence within several protected areas it has been classified as being of low conservation concern. However, these areas often do not have large mammalian dispersers and birds like hornbills and large pigeons due to habitat loss and hunting. Hence, the brown palm civet gains importance in such human-impacted landscapes as an important disperser and maintains biodiversity.[14]


  1. ^ a b Mudappa, D.; Choudhury, A. & Punjabi, G.A. (2016). "Paradoxurus jerdoni". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T16104A45201757. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T16104A45201757.en. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Paradoxurus jerdoni". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 551. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b Blanford, W. T. (1885). "A Monograph of the Genus Paradoxurus, F. Cuvier". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 53: 780–808. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1885.tb02921.x.
  4. ^ a b Rajamani N.; Mudappa, D. & Van Rompaey, H. (2002). "Distribution and status of the Brown Palm Civet in the Western Ghats, South India" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 27: 6–11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28.
  5. ^ Blanford, W.T. (1888–91). Fauna of British India. Mammalia. Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 111–112.
  6. ^ Blanford, W.T. (1855). "Exhibition and description of a skull of an apparently new Species of Paradoxurus (Paradoxurus jerdoni)". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 612–613.
  7. ^ Pocock, R.I. (1933). "The Palm Civets or 'Toddy Cats' of the genera Paradoxurus and Paguma inhabiting British India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 36: 856–877.
  8. ^ Wilson D.E.; Mittermeier, R.A., eds. (2009). Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 1. Carnivores. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
  9. ^ Kinnear, N. B. (1913). "The Brown Palm-Civet in North Kanara". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 22: 390.
  10. ^ Mudappa, D.; Noon, B.R.; Kumar, A. & Chellam, R. (2007). "Responses of small carnivores to rainforest fragmentation in the southern Western Ghats, India" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 36: 18–26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28.
  11. ^ Mudappa, D. (2006). "Day-bed choice by the brown palm civet (Paradoxurus jerdoni) in the Western Ghats, India". Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde. 71 (4): 238–243. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2006.01.003.
  12. ^ a b Mudappa, D.; Kumar, A. & Chellam, R. (2010). "Diet and fruit choice of the brown palm civet Paradoxurus jerdoni, a viverrid endemic to the Western Ghats rainforest, India" (PDF). Tropical Conservation Science. 3 (3): 282–300.
  13. ^ Ganesh, T. & Davidar, P. (1997). "Flowering phenology and flower predation of Cullenia exarillata (Bombacaceae) by arboreal vertebrates in Western Ghats, India". J. Tropical Ecology. 13: 459–468. doi:10.1017/S0266467400010622.
  14. ^ Ashraf, N.V.K.; Kumar, A. & Johnsingh, A.J.T. (1993). "Two endemic viverrids of the Western Ghats, India". Oryx. 27: 109–114. doi:10.1017/S0030605300020640.
Cullenia exarillata

Cullenia exarillata is a flowering plant evergreen tree species in the family Malvaceae endemic to the rainforests of the southern Western Ghats in India. It is one of the characteristic trees of the mid-elevation tropical wet evergreen rainforests and an important food plant for the endemic primate, the lion-tailed macaque.

Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary

Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is a protected area of Maharashtra state, India. It lies in the Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges of the Western Ghats, and administratively is in Aurangabad District and Jalgaon District. The wildlife sanctuary was established in 1986 in an existing reserved forest area.It covers a total area of 26,061.19 hectares (64,399 acres) with Reserved Forest Areas of 19706 ha. in Aurangabad and 6355.19 ha. in Jalgaon. Its name comes the nearby village of Gautala, which was itself named after Gautam Rishi, a Hindu ascetic mentioned in the Ramcharitmanas.

Golden palm civet

The golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis) is a palm civet endemic to Sri Lanka. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent and quality of its habitat in Sri Lanka's hill regions are declining.

List of endemic mammals of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to 21 endemic mammals. Number of terrestrial mammals that have been recorded from the country is 91. Additionally there are 28 marine mammals in the oceans surrounding the island. Being an island Sri Lanka lacks land area to supports large animals. However fossil evidence of large archaic species of rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and lions have been discovered. The flora and fauna of Sri Lanka is mostly

understudied. Therefore, the number of endemics could be underestimated. All three endemic genera Solisorex, Feroculus and Srilankamys, of Sri Lanka are monotypic.The endemic status of two Sri Lankan shrews has undergone changes as they have been reported in India recently. The Kelaart's long-clawed shrew (Feroculus feroculus) and the Sri Lanka highland shrew (Suncus montanus) were recorded from southern India. At the same time taxonomic revisions have indicated that the flame-striped jungle squirrel (Funambulus layardi), the red slender loris (Loris tardigradus) and two species of mouse deer, Moschiola meminna and M. kathygre are endemic to Sri Lanka. That leaves the number of endemic mammals in Sri Lanka at 16. Meanwhile, a group of researchers have described a new shrew species Crocidura hikmiya from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in 2007. The discovery leads to increase the ultimate number of endemics to 21 at present.

For Sri Lanka, small mammals are of special importance as they constitute a notable portion of the mammalian fauna of the country. Of the 91 species of mammals. recorded in the country, 31 are rodents and shrews. Furthermore, they are also of significant importance in biological point of view, as they make up largely to the country's endemic faunal component. The endemic small mammals include six rodents and four shrews. Many of these endemic species are found in fragmented rainforests in southwestern Sri Lanka which are highly vulnerable to habitat destruction. As a result, many of these species have been categorised as threatened or endangered at national level.

List of least concern mammals

As of September 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 3117 least concern mammalian species. 56% of all evaluated mammalian species are listed as least concern.

The IUCN also lists 127 mammalian subspecies as least concern.

Of the subpopulations of mammals evaluated by the IUCN, one species subpopulation has been assessed as least concern.

This is a complete list of least concern mammalian species and subspecies evaluated by the IUCN. Species and subspecies which have least concern subpopulations (or stocks) are indicated. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

List of mammals of India

This is a list of mammals found in India. The taxonomic order is based on Wilson and Reeder (1993) and this list is largely based on Nameer (2000)

The mammals of India ranges in size from the Eurasian pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) to the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Many of the carnivores and larger mammals are restricted in their distribution to forests in protected areas, while others live within the cities in the close proximity of humans.

Some species are common to the point of being considered vermin while others are exceedingly rare. Many species are known from just a few specimens in museums collected in the 19th and 20th centuries. These enigmatic species include nocturnal small mammals such as the Malabar civet (Viverra megaspila). While the status of many of these species is unknown, some are definitely extinct. Populations of many carnivores are threatened. The tiger (Panthera tigris), dhole (Cuon alpinus), fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), Malabar large-spotted civet (Viverra civettina) and Himalayan wolf (Canis himalayensis) are some of the most endangered species of carnivore. Two species of rhinoceros are extinct within the Indian region but the remaining species has its last stronghold within India. The Asiatic cheetah has officially gone extinct in India in the 1950s.

List of mammals of Kerala

This is a list of mammal species found in the Kerala, India.


Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Paradoxurus montanus

Paradoxurus montanus, the Sri Lankan brown palm civet, is a viverrid species endemic to Sri Lanka where it is known as ශ්‍රී ලංකා බොර කලවැද්දා (Sri Lanka Bora Kalawedda) in Sinhala. Until 2009, it was considered as the same species as the golden palm civet, but proposed to be given specific rank.

Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley National Park (Malayalam: സൈലന്‍റ് വാലീ നാഷണല്‍ പാര്‍ക്ക്), is a national park in Kerala, India. It is located in the Nilgiri hills, has a core area of 89.52 km2 (34.56 sq mi), which is surrounded by a buffer zone of 148 km2 (57 sq mi). This national park has some rare species of flora and fauna. This area was explored in 1847 by the botanist Robert Wight.The national park is one of the last undisturbed tracts of South Western Ghats mountain rain forests and tropical moist evergreen forest in India. Contiguous with the proposed Karimpuzha National Park (225 km2 (87 sq mi)) to the north and Mukurthi National Park (78.46 km2) to the north-east, it is the core of the Nilgiri International Biosphere Reserve (1,455.4 km2), and is part of the Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ km2), Western Ghats World Heritage Site, recognised by UNESCO in 2007.Plans for a hydroelectric project that threatened the park's rich wildlife stimulated an environmentalist social movement in the 1970s, known as the Save Silent Valley movement, which resulted in cancellation of the project and creation of the park in 1980. The visitors' centre for the park is at Sairandhri.

Sulawesi palm civet

The Sulawesi palm civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii), also known as Sulawesi civet, musang and brown palm civet is a little-known palm civet endemic to Sulawesi. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to population decline estimated to have been more than 30% over the last three generations (suspected to be 15 years) inferred from habitat destruction and degradation.Macrogalidia is a monospecific genus. It is the only carnivoran native to Sulawesi.


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.

Extant Carnivora species

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