Chinese ferret-badger

The Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata), also known as the small-toothed ferret-badger is a member of the Mustelidae, and widely distributed in Southeast Asia. It is listed as Least Concern by IUCN and considered tolerant of modified habitat.[1]

Chinese ferret-badger
HelictisSubaurantiacusWolf
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
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Genus:
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M. moschata
Binomial name
Melogale moschata
(Gray, 1831)
Chinese Ferret-badger area
Chinese ferret-badger range
Synonyms

Helictis subaurantiaca

Characteristics

Melogale moschata 02 MWNH 854
Skull of a Chinese ferret badger

Distinctive mask-like face markings distinguish the Chinese ferret-badger from most other oriental mustelids, although the remaining members of the genus Melogale have comparable facial markings. This ferret-badger lives in burrows or crevices and is active at dusk and at night. It is a good climber and feeds on fruit, insects, small animals and worms. It is savage when alarmed and its anal secretions are foul-smelling.

The average body size of the Chinese ferret-badger is 33 to 43 centimetres (13 to 17 in) with a tail of 15 to 23 centimetres (5.9 to 9.1 in). It lives in grassland, open forest and tropical rainforest from north-eastern India to southern China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and northern Indochina.

Ecology and behaviour

Chinese ferret-badgers mate in March. The female gives birth to a litter of up to 3 young in May or June. The new-borns are blind and well furred with the same color pattern as the adults. Their eyes open at about two weeks of age.[2]

Earthworms, amphibians and insects are important components of the Chinese ferret-badger's diet.[3] They also eat fleshy fruits such as of Chinese plum, oriental raisin tree, date-plum and Chinese kiwi.[4]

The Chinese ferret-badger is associated with reported outbreaks of human rabies in Southeastern China which were first reported in 1997 and the most recent case in 2008. There have been no reported deaths in these cases; however, there is currently no vaccination for rabies associated with ferret-badgers.[5]

Distribution

The Chinese ferret-badger is distributed across areas of mainly Central to Southern China. Ferret badgers are among the most hunted fur-bearing animals in Southern China, but maintain relatively high population densities in part due to the near-inedibility of their meat and the low prices of their pelts.

They have small home ranges that, according to the results of a study from 1994-1996, average around 10.6 hectares in area. Despite their small home ranges, however, ferret badgers are relatively nomadic creatures, moving from one resting spot to the next without establishing permanent residence. Ferret badgers may establish single-use resting spots, or choose to inhabit a particular spot for a period of many days. They tend to rest in natural formations, including small rodent dens and rock crevices. They may also construct makeshift shelters in shallow depressions in the grounds of rice paddy, soybean, cotton, or grass fields.

The home ranges of male and female ferret badgers overlap, suggesting a lack of territoriality between members of the species.

The ferret badger has acclimated to areas of human inhabitation, taking advantage of man-made sites suitable as resting spots, such as firewood stacks and rock piles, and using farmlands and vegetable gardens as feeding sites. Ferret badgers create limited conflicts with surrounding human populations, as they avoid preying on chickens and livestock, and do not tend to cause property damage.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b Duckworth, J. W.; Abramov, A.V.; Willcox, D.H.A.; Timmins, R.J.; Choudhury, A.; Roberton, S.; Long, B. & Lau, M. (2016). "Melogale moschata". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T41626A45209676. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41626A45209676.en. Retrieved 30 October 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Storz, J. F. and Wozencraft, W. C. (1999). Melogale moschata. Mammalian Species No. 631: 1–4.
  3. ^ Chuang, S., Lee, L., (1997). Food habits of three carnivore species (Viverricula indica, Herpestes urva, and Melogale moschata) in Fushan Forest, Northern Taiwan. J. Zool. Lond. 243: 71–79.
  4. ^ Zhou, Y. B., Zhang, L., Kaneko, Y., Newman, C., & Wang, X. M. (2008). Frugivory and seed dispersal by a small carnivore, the Chinese ferret-badger, Melogale moschata, in a fragmented subtropical forest of central China. Forest Ecology and Management 255 (5): 1595–1603.
  5. ^ Zhang, S., Tang, Q., Wu, X., Liu, Y., Zhang, F., Rupprecht, C. E., & Hu, R. (2009). Rabies in ferret badgers, southeastern China. Emerging infectious diseases: 15 (6): 946. doi: 10.3201/eid1506.081485
  6. ^ Wang, H.; Fuller, T. K. (2003). "Ferret badger Melogale moschata activity, movements, and den site use in southeastern China". Acta Theriologica. 48 (1): 73–78. doi:10.1007/BF03194267.

Further reading

Zhang, S.; Liu, Y., Hou, Y., Zhao, J., Zhang, F., Wang, Y., & Hu, R. (2013). "Epidemic and maintenance of rabies in Chinese ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) indicated by epidemiology and the molecular signatures of rabies viruses". Virologica Sinica. 28 (3): 146–151. doi:10.1007/s12250-013-3316-7. PMID 23689981. Retrieved 27 April 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

Arctocephalus

The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."

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.

Badger

Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the families Mustelidae (which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels, and wolverines), and Mephitidae (which also includes the skunks). They are not a natural taxonomic grouping, but are united by possession of a squat body adapted for fossorial activity. All belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals. The 11 species of mustelid badgers are grouped in four subfamilies: Melinae (4 species, including the European badger), Helictidinae (5 species of ferret-badger), Mellivorinae (the honey badger or ratel), and Taxideinae (the American badger); the respective genera are Arctonyx, Meles, Melogale, Mellivora and Taxidea. Badgers include the most basal mustelids; the American badger is the most basal of all, followed succesively by the ratel and Melinae. The two species of Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included within Melinae (and thus Mustelidae), but more recent genetic evidence indicates these are actually members of the skunk family.Badger mandibular condyles connect to long cavities in their skulls, giving resistance to jaw dislocation and increasing their bite grip strength, but in turn limiting jaw movement to hinging open and shut, or sliding from side to side but not the twisting movement possible for the jaws of most mammals.

Badgers have rather short, wide bodies, with short legs for digging. They have elongated, weasel-like heads with small ears. Their tails vary in length depending on species; the stink badger has a very short tail, while the ferret badger's tail can be 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long, depending on age. They have black faces with distinctive white markings, grey bodies with a light-coloured stripe from head to tail, and dark legs with light-coloured underbellies. They grow to around 90 cm (35 in) in length including tail.

The European badger is one of the largest; the American badger, the hog badger, and the honey badger are generally a little smaller and lighter. Stink badgers are smaller still, and ferret badgers smallest of all. They weigh around 9–11 kg (20–24 lb), with some Eurasian badgers around 18 kg (40 lb).

Catopuma

Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the bay cat (C. badia) and the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii).

Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head. They inhabit forested environments in Southeast Asia. The bay cat is restricted to the island of Borneo. Originally thought to be two subspecies of the same animal, recent genetic analysis has confirmed they are, indeed, separate species.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat, from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.

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)

Indian brown mongoose

The Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) looks similar to the short-tailed mongoose from Southeast Asia and is sometimes believed to be only a subspecies of this latter. The Indian brown mongoose is found in southwest India and Sri Lanka.

List of mammals of Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a national park and an UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. The park contains significant breeding populations of more than 35 mammalian species, out of which 15 are threatened mammals according to the IUCN Red List.The park has the world's single largest breeding population of Indian rhinoceros, with the 2006 census estimating the present population to be around 1,855, around 70% of the world's total wild population of 2,700.The park contains significant stock of three other large herbivores — the Asian elephant, the wild Asian water buffalo and the subspecies eastern swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli ranjitsinghi). A census on wild Asiatic buffaloes in March 2001 revealed the presence of 1,666 buffaloes — the largest single population of the species reported in this millennium, up from 677 in the 1984 census. Assam is India's most populous state with respect to Asiatic elephants (an estimated 5,500 out of a total of 10,000 wild Asiatic elephants in India live in Assam), and Kaziranga contains as many as 1,206 elephants (from the 2005 census), up from 1048 individuals (in the 2002 census). The combined Kaziranga - Karbi Anglong Elephant Reserve has as many as 1940 elephants according to the 2005 survey.The eastern race of the swamp deer also had 468 individuals existing as noted in the 2002 census, down from 756 individuals noted in the 1984 census. Other stable populations of large herbivores include the gaur (30 individuals in 1984) and the sambar (58 in 1999). Smaller herbivores include the Indian muntjac (100 in the 1972 census), wild boar (431 in 1999), barking deer and hog deer (5045 in 1999).The park has a large variety of primates including all free roaming primates in India with the exception of the endemic Western Ghats primates and the newly discovered Arunachal macaque. This includes the vulnerable and rare species of Bengal slow loris, Assamese macaque, capped langur, golden langur and the only ape found in India — the hoolock gibbon.Kaziranga also has the rare distinction of being one of the very few places in the world which contains breeding population of three big cats outside Africa — the royal Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard and the clouded leopard. Kaziranga had a population of around 30 Bengal tigers during the 1972 census, which grew to 86 in the 2000 census. This made Kaziranga the protected area with the highest tiger density in the world (0.2 tigers /km2), and Kaziranga formally became a tiger reserve in 2006.The park is also home to sloth bears and to lesser felids like the jungle cat, fishing cat and the leopard cat. Other small mammals include the rare hispid hare and several common species of mongoose (Indian gray mongoose, small Indian mongoose), civets (large Indian civet, small Indian civet), small canids (Bengal fox, golden jackal) pangolins (Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolin), weasels (hog badger, Chinese ferret badger), the particolored flying squirrel and bats.Kaziranga's rivers (especially the adjoining stretch of the Brahmaputra) are home to the blind, highly endangered Ganges dolphin.Even though the ubiquitous wild boar is present in Kaziranga, and Assam was part of the historical range of the critically endangered pygmy hog, the pygmy hog is no longer found in Kaziranga. The Indian Javan rhinoceros was probably also an inhabitant of Kaziranga before becoming extinct.

List of protected species in Hong Kong

List of protected species in Hong Kong.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mustelidae

The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.

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.

Paradoxurus

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.

Patagonian weasel

The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.

Pusa

Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.

The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.

Only the Caspian seal is endangered.

Speothos

Speothos is a genus of canid found in Central and South America. The genus includes the living bush dog, Speothos venaticus, and an extinct Pleistocene species, Speothos pacivorus. Unusually, the fossil species was identified and named before the extant species was discovered, with the result that the type species of Speothos is S. pacivorus.

Vietnam ferret-badger

The Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis) is a member of the family Mustelidae native to Vietnam. It was described in 2011 and is known from only two specimens.

Extant Carnivora species

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