The common genet (Genetta genetta) is a small viverrid indigenous to Africa that was introduced to southwestern Europe and the Balearic Islands. As it is widely distributed north of the Sahara, in savanna zones south of the Sahara to southern Africa and along the coast of Arabia, Yemen and Oman, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
|Common genet range|
(green - native,
red - extant introduced,
black - extinct introduced)
Viverra genetta (Linnaeus, 1758)
The common genet has a slender, cat-like body, a small head with a pointed muzzle, large oval ears, large eyes and well-developed whiskers up to 7 cm (2.8 in) in length. Its legs are short, with cat-like feet and semi-retractile claws. Its fur is dense and soft, and the coat is pale grey, with numerous black markings. The back and flanks are marked with about five rows of black spots, and a long black stripe runs along the middle of the back from the shoulders to the rump. There is also a black stripe on the forehead, and dark patches beneath the eyes, which are offset against the white fur of the chin and throat. The tail is striped, with anything from eight to thirteen rings along its length. Its body is 43 to 55 cm (17 to 22 in) long with a tail measuring 33 to 52 cm (13 to 20 in). Males average on weight at 2 kg (4.4 lb) and are about 10% larger than females. It has an erectile crest of hair from the shoulder to the base of the tail, a white tail tip and black hind feet.
In North Africa, the common genet occurs along the western Mediterranean coast, and in a broad band from Senegal and Mauritania in the west throughout the savannah zone south of the Sahara to Somalia and Tanzania in the east. On the Arabian Peninsula, it was recorded in coastal regions of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman. Another discontinuous population inhabits Southern Africa, from southern Angola across Zambia, Zimbabwe to Mozambique. It inhabits a wide range of deciduous and evergreen habitats that provide plentiful shelter such as rocky terrain with caves and dense scrub land, but also come close to settlements and agricultural land.
It is common in Morocco, but rare in Libya, Egypt and Zambia. In South Africa, it is common in west-central KwaZulu-Natal, in the Cape Province, and in QwaQwa National Park in the Free State province.
It was brought to the Mediterranean region from Maghreb as a semi-domestic animal about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. It spread from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balearic Islands and southern France. In Italy, individuals were sighted in mountainous areas in the Piedmont region and in the Aosta Valley. Individuals sighted in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands are considered to have escaped or been released from captivity. In southwestern Europe, they thrive in oak and pine forests, but also live in olive groves, riparian zones, ash groves, rocky areas, and shrublands. They are rare in open areas, marshes, and cereal croplands. Despite their abundance along watercourses, presence of water is not considered essential.
It prefers to live in areas with dense vegetation, such as bushes, thickets, and evergreen oak forests. As resting sites it uses trees with dense foliage in the canopy and dense thickets overgrown with climbing plants. In northern areas, it prefers low altitudes with high temperatures and low rainfall. In the Manzanares Park in central Spain, it lives foremost in areas of 1,000–1,200 m (3,300–3,900 ft) elevation with lots of rocks and shrubs. It tolerates proximity to settlements.
The common genet is solitary. Adults are nocturnal and crepuscular, with their highest levels of activity following sunset and just prior to sunrise; juveniles may be active during the day. They rest during the day in hollow trees or among thickets, and frequently use the same resting sites. In southern Spain, adult individuals occupy home ranges of about 7.8 km2 (3.0 sq mi) in average. The ranges of males and females overlap, but those of members of the same sex do not. In northern Spain, home ranges of three females ranged from 2.1 to 10.2 km2 (0.81 to 3.94 sq mi).
During a study in northeastern Spain, males have been found to be more active than females at night because of their greater size, which indicates that males have greater energy requirements to satisfy their physiological needs. Females typically weigh less, and they have been found to be less active overall. Females' home ranges are also smaller than those of males. Males had a mean annual home range of 113 ha (280 acres), and females of 72 ha (180 acres). While males have larger home ranges in all seasons, the differences between males' and females' territories are most significant during the winter. Their home ranges are slightly larger during the spring because they are more active, not only nocturnally, but in seeking a mate. Because of their increased activity, they require more energy and are more active to acquire the necessary sustenance.
Both male and females scent mark in their home ranges. Females mark their territory using scent glands on their flanks, hind legs, and perineum. Males mark less frequently than females, often spraying urine, rather than using their scent glands, and do so primarily during the breeding season. Scent marks by both sexes allow individuals to identify the reproductive and social status of other genets. Common genets also defecate at specific latrine sites, which are often located at the edge of their territories, and perform a similar function to other scent marks.
Five communication calls have been reported. The hiccup call is used by males during the mating period and by females to call the litter. Kits purr during their first week of life and, during their dependent weeks, moan or mew. Kits also growl after the complete development of predatory behavior and during aggressive interactions. Finally, genets utter a "click" as a threat. Threatening behavior consists of erection of the dark central dorsal band of hair, an arched-back stance, opening the mouth, and baring the teeth.
The common genet uses five distinct calls. The "hiccup" call is used to indicate friendly interactions, such as between a mother and her young, or between males and females prior to mating. Conversely, clicks, or, in younger individuals, growls, are used to indicate aggression. The remaining two calls, a "mew" and a purr, are used only by young still dependant on their mother.
It has a varied diet comprising small mammals, lizards, birds, bird eggs, amphibians, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions, insects and fruit, including figs and olives. The wood mouse is a favourite prey item, It also prey on red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) and dormice (Eliomys quercinus). Genets locate their prey primarily by scent, and kill with a bite to the neck, like cats. Small rodents are captured by the back and killed with a bite at the head, then eaten starting with the head.
In Spain, common genets can suffer from infestation of parasitic helminths, as well as ticks, fleas (Hippobosca), and lice. Common genets also host the phthirapteran Eutrichophilus genettae and Lorisicola (Paradoxuroecus) genettae.
In Spain, common genets breed between January and September, with a peak in February and March and another one in the summer. Mating behaviour and development of young has been studied in captive individuals. Copulation lasts about two to three minutes, and is repeated up to five times in the same night. After a gestation period of 10 to 11 weeks, up to four young are born. Newborn common genets weigh 60 to 85 g (2.1 to 3.0 oz). They start eating meat at around seven weeks of age, and are fully weaned at four months of age. When five months old, they are skilled in hunting on their own. When 19 months old, they start marking, and are thought to be sexually mature at the age of two years. Captive common genets have lived up to 13 years.
No major threats to common genets are known. In North Africa and some localities in southern Africa, they are hunted for their fur. In Portugal, they get killed in predator traps. On Ibiza, urbanization and development of infrastructure cause loss and fragmentation of habitat.
Algatocín is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. The municipality is situated approximately 143 kilometres (89 mi) from Málaga and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Ronda. It is located in the west of the province in the Valle del Genal, being one of the towns that make up the comarca of the Serrania de Ronda. It is situated at an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 ft). The town has a population of approximately 900 residents, over a surface area of 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi), for a population density of 47 inhabitants per square kilometre (120/sq mi).Angolan genet
The Angolan genet or miombo genet (Genetta angolensis) is a genet species endemic to Southern Africa. It is considered common in this region and therefore listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Little is known about its ecology.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.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.Genet (animal)
A genet (pronounced or ) is a member of the genus Genetta, which consists of 14 to 17 species of small African carnivorans.
Genet fossils from the Pliocene have been found in Morocco. The common genet is the only genet present in Europe and occurs in the Iberian Peninsula and France.Ifrane National Park
Ifrane National Park is a national park located in the Middle Atlas mountain range, in Morocco. Its territory extends over the Western part of the Middle Atlas mountains and areas within the provinces of Ifrane and Boulmane. It was established in 2004,and covers an area of 125.000 ha. Much of the park is forested with Atlas cedar. Ifrane National Park is one of the few remaining habitats for the Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus; this primate prehistorically had a much broader range in North Africa, but currently survives as an endangered species in narrowly restricted and fragmented habitats.Creation
Ifrane National Park was conceived in 1994 and established in October 2004 due to many reasons such as the existence of remarkable species in the territory, the presence of internationally important ecosystems, and the increase of human activity and resource exploitation.Since the 1990s, Morocco got involved in the conception of strategies that can help in protecting the environment and biodiversity through projects and conventions such as Ramsar. Ifrane National Park is one of the strategies that the Moroccan state came up with in order to demonstrate the importance of its forests and ecosystems.
The park initially covered an area of 53800 ha, and got enlarged in April 2008 so as to currently cover 125.000 ha. The zone encompasses some of the most ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands and high-altitude forests. It is believed that the park's altitude varies between 1300 and 2400 meters including the cedar forest located in the province of Ifrane.It was stated that the park contains 1/10 of the Atlas Cedar in the world, 1/4 of the world's population of the Barbary Macaque, and two Ramsar sites: the two lakes Afennourir and Tifounassine.Additionally, included in Ifrane National Park's territory are the following 'daiyat', as in lakes, and forests:
The park was created with these three intentions:
protecting biodiversity and ecosystems
raising awareness of the environment and eco-tourism
sustainable development of natural resourcesNatural Reserve
The park constitutes a very important natural reserve to Morocco since it is biologically and geologically diverse.
The area has 1015 different plant species including the Atlas Cedar (Cedrus Atlantica), the Evergreen Oak (Quercus Ilex), the Algerian Oak (Quercus Canariensis), the Maritime Pine (Pinus Pinaster), and the Spanish Juniper (Juniperus Thunifera). Other tree species that exist in the park include the Montpellier maple, the yew, and the holly.
The park contains a rich fauna. It constitutes a natural living environment for the endangered monkey species the Barbary Macaque. Moreover, in the park one can find wild Barbary boars, the golden Jackal, the Serval, the Caracal, and the Common Genet.In addition, the park is a place where various bird species keep showing up. In fact, Afennourir Lake is a Ramsar Site where you can find a shelter for bird-watching. The bird species that can be found in the lake include coots, also called Fulica, snipes, and egrets.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.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Montesinho Natural Park
The Montesinho Natural Park (Portuguese: Parque Natural de Montesinho) is a protected area located in the municipalities of Vinhais and Bragança, northeastern Portugal. Sections of the southern slopes of the Serra da Coroa (Sierra de la Culebra) fall within the park.
Its biodiversity includes the Iberian wolf, roe deer, wild boar, Iberian lynx, common genet, red fox and European otter.
The government of Portugal maintains a registry and facilitates placement of Cão de Gado Transmontano for flock and wolf protection through its agency, Parque Natural de Montesinho.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.Vinhais
Vinhais (Portuguese pronunciation: [viˈɲajʃ]; Proto-Celtic: *Veniatia) is a municipality in the district of Bragança, northern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 9,066, in an area of 694.76 km².The present mayor is Américo Afonso Pereira, elected by the Socialist Party. The municipal holiday is May 20.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.Viverrinae
The Viverrinae represent the largest subfamily within the Viverridae comprising five genera, which are subdivided into 22 species native to Africa and Southeast Asia. This subfamily was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.Zalophus
Zalophus is a genus of the family Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals) of order Carnivora. It includes these species, of which one became recently extinct:
Z. californianus: California sea lion
Z. japonicus: Japanese sea lion †
Z. wollebaeki: Galápagos sea lion
Extant Carnivora species