Owston's palm civet

Owston's palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni) is a civet native to Vietnam, Laos and southern China. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 50% over the last three generations, inferred from over-exploitation, habitat destruction and degradation.[1]

Chrotogale is a monospecific genus.[2] Owston's palm civet is named after the wildlife collector Alan Owston.[3]

Owston's palm civet
Scientific classification

Thomas, 1912
C. owstoni
Binomial name
Chrotogale owstoni
(Thomas, 1912)
Owston's Palm Civet area
Owston's palm civet range


The Owston's palm civet is a mid-sized palm civet at 57 cm (23 in), plus a tail of 43 cm (17 in). With its pointed face, it is sometimes thought to resemble a large insectivore, such as a shrew. It has a tawny buff-grey body with highly contrasted black markings on its back and tail. They usually only have 4 bands on their back. The last two-thirds of the tail is completely black. They look somewhat like the banded palm civet, Hemigalus derbyanus, except for that the hair on the back of their neck are not reversed, and the Owston's has spots on its legs.

Distribution and habitat

Owston's palm civet lives in the forests and wooded lowland river basins of northern Vietnam, northern Laos and southern China.

Ecology and behaviour

Very little is known about their life history in the wild, though limited information has been gathered on captive animals. They feed mostly on earthworms and other invertebrates. The mating season is apparently in late January. After a gestation period of 3 months, a litter of 1-3 young are born.


In captivity

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program, based at Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam, runs an international conservation and breeding programme for them in cooperation with various zoos including Newquay Zoo.


  1. ^ a b Timmins, R.J.; Coudrat, C.N.Z.; Duckworth, J.W.; Gray, T.N.E.; Robichaud, W.; Willcox, D.H.A.; Long, B. & Roberton, S. (2016). "Chrotogale owstoni". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T4806A45196929. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T4806A45196929.en. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 552. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Thomas, O. (1912). Two new Genera and a Species of Viverrine Carnivora. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 498–503.

External links

Alan Owston

Alan Owston (1853–1915) was born on 7 August 1853 at Pirbright, Surrey and was buried on 30 November 1915 at Yokohama in Japan.

He was a collector of Asian wildlife, businessman and yachtsman, and founded the Yokohama Yacht Club in Japan.

Alan Owston left England for Asia in 1871, working as a merchant in Japan and was also busy as an amateur naturalist.

The Owston's palm civet or Owston's civet (Chrotogale owstoni) is named after him.Owston collected or arranged to have collected a wide range of marine specimens, notably fish from Japan and China, a collection once hailed "one of the most important collections of its kind". Carnegie Museum of Natural History Pittsburgh has a collection of 1,364 of his Asian fishes. Some other animals named after him include the fish Trismegistus owstoni, a clam, a frog, and woodpecker.

His bird collection was also hailed for "the prodigious number of bird specimens".

His collections can be found in many museums today, notably the Smithsonian collection of his reptiles, birds and fish.

He is also noted for his deep-sea sponge collection at the Natural History Museum, London which also has a charming Victorian photographic portrait of him from Japan with one of his giant sponges.As a yachtsman and founder of Yokohama Yacht Club, he was reputed to own its fastest yacht, the Golden Hind. He was unusual as an Englishman working in Japan as it opened to western influence and business interests, being buried in the foreigners' cemetery in Yokohama.

Family Tree and history

His father Rev. Francis Owston was the Vicar at Pirbright, Surrey, England for 40 years, having received his MA degree from Cambridge during 1850 and married Alan's mother Eliza Stedman (daughter of Dr. James Stedman and Sarah Remington) on 16 Apr 1850 in St. Nicolas' Church, Guildford, Surrey, England.

Alan Owston had an older brother, Captain Francis Owston (born 27 Apr 1852 Pirbright, Surrey - died 27 Jan 1927 England, a sea captain working from England and also later a businessman in Japan) and a younger sister, Bertha Owston (24 Jun 1864 Pirbright, Surrey, England - 1952 Leavenheath, Suffolk, England).

Alan was married twice to Japanese women and had several children. More biographical information is given in the family tree section of the external links.

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.

Ba Bể National Park

Ba Bể National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn Quốc Gia Ba Bể) is a reserve in Bắc Kạn Province, Northeast region of Vietnam, set up to protect a freshwater lake (Ba Bể Lake) along with surrounding limestone and lowland evergreen forests. It is located about 240 kilometers northwest of the capital city Hanoi.

Banded palm civet

The banded palm civet (Hemigalus derbyanus), also called the banded civet, is a civet found in the Sundaic region and occurs in peninsular Myanmar, peninsular Malaysia, peninsular Thailand and in Indonesia on the islands of Sipura, Sumatra and Borneo. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because of its large geographic and elevation range and tolerance to some habitat disturbance.Hemigalus is a monospecific genus that was first named and described by the French zoologist Claude Jourdan in 1837.


Bdeogale is a genus of three species of mongoose native to the rainforests of central and western Africa. They are primarily terrestrial and insectivorous.


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.

King genet

The king genet (Genetta poensis) is a small carnivoran native to the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. As it has not been recorded since 1946, it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. It probably inhabits only tropical rainforest.


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

Mephitis (genus)

The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.


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).


Neophoca is a genus of the family Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals) of order Carnivora. It is combined by some taxonomists with the genus Phocarctos, the (extant) New Zealand sea lion. Only one species survives:

N. cinerea: Australian sea lion. Most subpopulations are small and genetically isolated.Extinct species:

N. palatina, known from a skull found in New Zealand


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.


Owston may refer to:

Owston, Leicestershire, England

Owston Ferry, a village in Lincolnshire, England

Owston, South Yorkshire, England

Owston Islands in Antarctica


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 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 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 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 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

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.