The Malabar large-spotted civet (Viverra civettina), also known as the Malabar civet, is a viverrid endemic to the Western Ghats of India. It is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List as the population is estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals, with no subpopulation greater than 50 individuals. In the early 1990s, isolated populations still survived in less disturbed areas of South Malabar but were seriously threatened by habitat destruction and hunting outside protected areas.
|Malabar large-spotted civet|
|Stuffed specimen at Government Museum, Chennai|
|Malabar large-spotted civet range|
The Malabar large-spotted civet is dusky gray. It has a dark mark on the cheek, large transverse dark marks on the back and sides, and two obliquely transverse dark lines on the neck. These dark marks are more pronounced than in the large Indian civet. Its throat and neck are white. A mane starts between the shoulders. Its tail is ringed with dark bands. The feet are dark. It differs from the large-spotted civet by the greater nakedness of the soles of the feet. The hairs on the interdigital webs between the digital pads form submarginal patches; the skin of the plantar pad is naked in front and at the sides. There are remnants of the metatarsal pads on the hind foot as two naked spots, the external a little above the level of the hallux, the internal considerably higher. A male individual kept in the Zoological Gardens of Trivandrum in the 1930s measured 30 in (76 cm) in head and body with a 13 in (33 cm) long tail and weighed 14.5 lb (6.6 kg).
In the 19th century, the Malabar civet occurred throughout the Malabar coast from the latitude of Honore to Cape Comorin. It inhabited the forests and richly wooded lowland, and was occasionally found on elevated forest tracts. It was considered abundant in Travancore.
Until the 1960s, extensive deforestation has reduced most of the natural forests in the entire stretch of the coastal Western Ghats. By the late 1960s, the Malabar civet was thought to be near extinction. In 1987, one individual was sighted in Kerala.
In 1987, two skins were obtained near Nilambur in northern Kerala, an area that is dominated by cashew and rubber plantations. Two more skins were found in this area in 1990. These plantations probably held most of the surviving population, as these were little disturbed and provided a dense understorey of shrubs and grasses. Large-scale clearance for planting rubber trees threatened this habitat.
Interviews conducted in the early 1990s among local hunters indicated the presence of Malabar civet in protected areas of Karnataka. During camera traping surveys in lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Kerala from April 2006 to March 2007, no photographic record was obtained in a total of 1,084 camera trap nights.
It is now seriously threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation. Until the 1990s, it was confined to remnant forests and disturbed thickets in cashew and rubber plantations in northern Kerala, where the hunting pressure was another major threat.
Reginald Innes Pocock considered V. megaspila and V. civettina to be distinct species. Ellerman and Morrison-Scott considered V. civettina a subspecies of V. megaspila. IUCN Red List consider it a distinct species.
There is some controversy as to whether the Malabar civet is even native to the Western Ghats, much less its own species. All given background information for known specimens is very scant, so there is little to no information on its ecology or habits. In spite of the heavy habitat destruction in the region, the civet still seems unusually threatened for a small, generalist carnivore. The region where the civet was known to occur is the site of a major trading port, formerly including the trade of civets such as the large-spotted civet. Due to this, there is some speculation on whether the Malabar civet is in fact an introduced population of the large-spotted civet that eventually died off.
The Haussa genet (Genetta thierryi) is a genet species native to West African savannas. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Haussa genets have been sighted in Senegal's wooded steppes, in moist woodlands in Guinea-Bissau, and in rainforest in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ivory Coast.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.Long-nosed mongoose
The long-nosed mongoose (Herpestes naso) is a mongoose native to Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Masked palm civet
The masked palm civet or gem-faced civet (Paguma larvata) is a civet species native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is classified by IUCN in 2008 as Least Concern as it occurs in many protected areas, is tolerant to some degree of habitat modification, and widely distributed with presumed large populations that are unlikely to be declining.The genus Paguma was first named and described by John Edward Gray in 1831. All described forms are regarded as a single species.In recent times, masked palm civets were considered to be a likely vector of SARS.Mephitis (genus)
The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.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.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.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.Ruddy mongoose
The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is a species of mongoose found in hill forests of peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This mongoose, along with the striped-neck and Indian grey mongeese, are the only mongoose species endemic to India and Sri Lanka. The ruddy mongoose is very closely related to Indian grey mongoose, but distinguished by its slightly larger size and black-tipped tail extending for 2 to 3 inches at the distal end. There are two sub-species of this mongoose, H. smithii smithii in India, and H. smithii zeylanicus (Thomas, 1852) in Sri Lanka.Short-tailed mongoose
The short-tailed mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus) is a species of mongoose that lives in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
The species is red-brown to black, with black limbs. The head is more grayish, with a black spot on the chin. This species has a total length of 60 to 65 cm (including tail) and a weight of about 1.4 kg. The tail is relatively short, about 25 cm.
The short-tailed mongoose is found in lowland rainforests of Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippine islands Palawan and Busuanga. It is common in the neighbourhood of rivers and other bodies of waters. One of its subspecies is often considered a separate species instead, the Hose's mongoose.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.Viverra
Viverra is a mammalian genus that was first nominated and described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 as comprising several species including the large Indian civet (V. zibetha). The genus was subordinated to the viverrid family by John Edward Gray in 1821.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.West African oyan
The West African oyan (Poiana leightoni), also known as the West African linsang, is a linsang species native to the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa.
It is one of the least known small carnivores in Africa.
Extant Carnivora species