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.

Vietnam ferret-badger
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Melogale
Species:
M. cucphuongensis
Binomial name
Melogale cucphuongensis
(T. Nadler, 2011)

Taxonomy

The Vietnam ferret-badger is a member of the genus Melogale, which contains another four species. Two of these, the Burmese ferret-badger and the Chinese ferret-badger, occur together with it in the same region. The Vietnam ferret-badger was assigned to a separate species by comparing the holotype to a limited number of specimens of these two species. As this does not take into account a large number of other Melogale specimens held worldwide, it is as of 2016 unclear whether the name given to the species is valid with regard to earlier synonyms. Pending verification, the name M. cucphuongensis has been provisionally accepted by the IUCN in its assessment.[1]

Discovery

In March 2005, a living ferret-badger that looked different from all known ferret-badger species was confiscated by rangers from Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. Unfortunately, this animal died and the carcass was disposed of. A year later, in January 2006, a freshly dead individual of the same phenotype was found at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) in Cuc Phuong National Park. Due to several markedly different characteristics (namely its dark brown head and body, its black and white stripe running from its neck to its shoulders, and the shape of its skull), these specimens were assigned to a new species.[2]

Distribution and habitat

The only two specimens known come from a site that consists of a compound of buildings in a degraded lowland evergreen forest fringe (second specimen) and from a location near it (first specimen), in the Cuc Phuong National Park in Northern Vietnam, in the Ninh Binh Province. It is not known whether this site is representative of the species' habitat. The site is situated on limestone, which has given rise to the speculation that the species might depend on a karst habitat, as do other animals in the region.[2]

Conservation

The Vietnam ferret-badger is currently classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN, and no specific threat estimate is deemed possible. The species is probably under hunting pressure, as the site is heavily hunted and one of the specimens had apparently escaped from a snare (although the presence of the ferret-badgers indicates that they may not be heavily impacted by this). Habitat loss due to deforestation is a general threat to ecosystems in the region, which likely applies to this species as well.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Helgen, K. & Long, B. (2016). "Melogale cucphuongensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T68369199A68369432. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T68369199A68369432.en.
  2. ^ a b Nadler, T.; Streicher, U.; Stefen, C.; Schwierz, E.; Roos, C. (2011). "A new species of ferret-badger, genus Melogale, from Vietnam". Der Zoologische Garten. 80 (5): 271–286. doi:10.1016/j.zoolgart.2011.08.004.
Arctocephalus

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Asiatic linsang

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Crossarchus

Crossarchus is a genus of mongoose, commonly referred to as kusimanse (often cusimanse), mangue, or dwarf mongoose. Of three subfamilies of Herpestidae (Herpestinae, Mungotinae and Galidiinae), dwarf mongooses belong to Herpestinae or Mungotinae, which are small, highly social mongooses.

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)

Ictonyx

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Saharan striped polecat (Ictonyx libycus)

Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus)

Lontra

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Lutrogale

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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 a diverse group and form 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).

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

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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.

Paradoxurinae

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Paradoxurus

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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.

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.

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.

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