Nilgiri marten

The Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) is the only species of marten found in southern India. It occurs in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats.

Nilgiri marten
Nilgiri marten by N A Nazeer
Scientific classification
M. gwatkinsii
Binomial name
Martes gwatkinsii
(Horsfield, 1851)
Nilgiri Marten area
Nilgiri marten range


Nilgiri Marten (Martes gwatkinsii)
Two Nilgiri martens in their natural habitat.

The Nilgiri marten is similar to the yellow-throated marten, but is larger and essentially different in the structure of the skull – it has a prominent frontal concavity. It is unmistakable in the field; its pelage is deep brown from head to rump, with the forequarters being almost reddish, with a bright throat ranging in colour from yellow to orange.[4][5]

It is about 55 to 65 cm long from head to vent and has a tail of 40 to 45 cm. It weighs about 2.1 kg.[5]


The species is reported from the Nilgiris, Kodagu up to the Charmadi ghats.Karnataka, Travancore Kerala [6][7][8][9][10][11]

Ecology and behaviour

Very little is known about the Nilgiri marten. It is diurnal, and though arboreal, descends to the ground occasionally. It is reported to prey on birds, small mammals and insects such as cicadas.[12][13][14]


  1. ^ Mudappa, D.; Jathana, D. & Raman, T.R.S. (2015). "Martes gwatkinsii". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T12847A86161239. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T12847A45199025.en.
  2. ^ Nascimento, F. O. do (2014). "On the correct name for some subfamilies of Mustelidae (Mammalia, Carnivora)". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo). 54 (21): 307–313. doi:10.1590/0031-1049.2014.54.21.
  3. ^ Law, C. J.; Slater, G. J.; Mehta, R. S. (2018-01-01). "Lineage Diversity and Size Disparity in Musteloidea: Testing Patterns of Adaptive Radiation Using Molecular and Fossil-Based Methods". Systematic Biology. 67 (1): 127–144. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx047.
  4. ^ "The Book Of Indian Animals, S.H.PRATER Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, 2005". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Zoological Survey of India, Pune". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  6. ^ Christopher, G. & Jayson, E.A. (1996) Sightings of Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield) at Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 15, 3–4.
  7. ^ Madhusudan, M.D. (1995) Sighting of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) at Eravikulam National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 13, 6–7.
  8. ^ Gokula, V. & Ramachandran, N.K. (1996) A record of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 93, 82.
  9. ^ Mudappa, D. 1999 Lesser known carnivores of the Western Ghats IN ENVIS Bulletin : Wildlife, Protected areas: Mustelids, Viverrids and Herpestides of India 2(2): 65–70 Publisher: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, Editor: S. A. Hussain.
  10. ^ Balakrishnan, P. (2005) Recent sightings and habitat characteristics of the endemic Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsii in Western Ghats, India.
  11. ^ Krishna, K. & Karnad, D. (2010) New records of the Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii in the Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 43, 23–27.
  12. ^ Hutton, A.F. (1944) Feeding habits of the Nilgiri marten. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 48, 374–375
  13. ^ "Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield, 1851". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  14. ^ The book of Indian Animals S.H.Prater, Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, 2005

External links


Martes gwatkinsii Nilgiri Marten crossing the road in Anaimalai hills collage
Nilgiri Marten crossing the road in Anaimalai hills, Southern Wester Ghats
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.


Bisle is a small village in the heart of south-western India's Western Ghats. The village is located in Hassan District's Sakleshpur (Sakaleshpura) Taluk.

It adjoins Bisle Reserve Forest, which has some of India's most spectacular rain forests.

Bisle Reserve Forest

Bisle Reserve Forest is a reserve forest in westernmost Hassan district of Karnataka state, India.

It is located in Hassan district's Sakleshpur taluk. Bisle village adjoins the forest to the east. It is contiguous with Kagneri Reserve Forest to the north, Bhagimalai Reserve Forest of Dakshina Kannada district to the west, and Kukke Subramanya forest range to the southwest. To the south it adjoins Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Kodagu district. Bisle Reserve forest and the reserve forests extending north along the Bisle Ghat range form a natural corridor linking Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Kudremukh National Park.

The Kumaradhara River, a tributary of the Netravati, runs through the reserve forest from east to west, creating a pass through the Western Ghats. Bisle Ghat Road follows the Kumaradhara, linking Hassan district with Dakshina Kannada district and the valley of the Netravati.

Around 5 km west of Bisle is scenic spot of Bisle called Bisle Betta or Bisle View Point. From here one can see the mountain ranges of 3 districts: Kumara Parvatha (1319 m) of Dakshina Kannada district, Pushpagiri (1712 m) and Dodda Betta (1119 m) of Kodagu district, and Patta Betta (1112 m) and Enni Kallu (900 m) of Hassan district. The highlight of this point is that the view has a valley, with Giri River separating the beauty point and these mountain ranges. The forest department has erected a viewing platform with a sun-shade to sit and enjoy the view. In addition to the view point, the forest department has built and maintains a few other facilities in the forest:

A check post & related residential hutments at Budi Choudi.

Three km ahead of Budi Choudi, a reception room on the roadside.

Down on the riverside of Addahole few Dormitories with a rope bridge.

An inspection bungalow at Addahole bridge.The reserve forest is part of the North Western Ghats montane rain forests ecoregion. The forest's steep slopes have deterred logging, and it is home to tracts of intact Dipterocarp forests that preserve the ecoregion's native biodiversity.The thick forest is home of king cobras, tigers (rarely seen), Sambar deer, peacocks, numerous species of birds, Spotted deer, brown fox and Mahasheer fish, not to mention a number of flora and fauna which can only be found in this region of Western Ghats. The rare Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) was sighted recently in Bisle forest.On December 15, 2012, the Karnataka Wildlife Board recommended that Bisle Reserve Forest, along with Kaginahare and Kanchankumari reserve forests to the north, be included in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The Ministry of Environment and Forests also supported the proposal. In May 2014 wildlife biologist Sanjay Gubbi reiterated the call to include these reserve forests in the protected area, and said that "a conspiracy to make money in the name of mini-hydel projects" was the reason for the Karnataka state government's refusal to redesignate these reserve forests as a wildlife sanctuary or national park.


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)


Galerella is a genus of the mongoose family (Herpestidae) native to Africa and commonly called the slender mongooses.There are four or five species in this genus, with more than 30 subspecies.

Four of the species have long been established:

A recent addition is the black mongoose, Galerella nigrata, which now is considered a separate species by many scientists, following genetic analysis. It was previously seen as a variant of Galerella sanguinea.


Guloninae is a subfamily of the mammal family Mustelidae distributed across Eurasia and the Americas. It includes martens and the fisher, tayra and wolverine. These genera were formerly included within a paraphyletic definition of the mustelid subfamily Mustelinae.

Most gulonine species are arboreal to a degree. Some of the fashion furs come from this subfamily, i.e. sable, marten.


Kolaribetta is the second highest peak in the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats, located in Tamil Nadu, India.It is situated in the border of Nilambur taluk, Malappuram district, Kerala and Udagamandalam taluk of Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu.

It is the highest point in the Mukurthi National Park and Chaliyar river basin. It stands at an altitude of 2,630m above sea level.

It is a shelter for Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr and Nilgiri Marten.

Other major peaks are Doddabetta, Kudikadu (2,590m), Mukurthi (2,554 m), Pichallbetta (2,544m), Derbetta (2,531m) and Snowdon (2,531m).

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


The martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Guloninae, in the family Mustelidae. Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in taigas, and are found in coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the Northern Hemisphere. They have bushy tails and large paws with partially retractible claws. The fur varies from yellowish to dark brown, depending on the species, and, in many cases, is valued by fur trappers.


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 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).

Narrow-striped mongoose

The narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a member of the family Eupleridae, subfamily Galidiinae and endemic to Madagascar. It inhabits the Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western and southwestern Madagascar, where it lives from sea level to about 125 m (410 ft) between the Tsiribihina and Mangoky rivers. In Malagasy it is called bokiboky (pronounced "Boo-ky Boo-ky").


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.

Pampadum Shola National Park

Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park in Kerala state, South India. The park is administered by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, together with the nearby Mathikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary. The park adjoins the Allinagaram Reserved Forest within the proposed Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park.It is a part of Palani hills stretched up to Vandaravu peak.The Westerns Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including these parks, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Wildlife of Tamil Nadu

There are more than 2000 species of fauna that can be found in Tamil Nadu. This rich wildlife is attributed to the diverse relief features as well as favorable climate and vegetation in the Indian state. Recognizing the state's role in preserving the current environment, the government has established several wildlife and bird sanctuaries as well as national parks, which entail stringent protective measures. Tamil Nadu is also included in the International Network of Biosphere Reserves, which facilitates international recognition and additional funding. Currently, there are five national parks and 17 sanctuaries that serve as homes to the wildlife.

Extant Carnivora species

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.