Melogale everetti 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Melogale everetti
Species Authority: (Thomas, 1895)
Common Name(s):
English Bornean Ferret Badger, Everett's Ferret Badger, Kinabalu Ferret Badger
Melogale personata subspecies everetti (Thomas, 1895)
Taxonomic Notes: Bornean Ferret Badger has been considered by some to be a subspecies of Javan Ferret Badger M. orientalis, and by others as a subspecies of Large-toothed Ferret Badger M. personata, but it is now generally considered to be a distinct species (Long 1992). All past records of Melogale in Borneo under whatever name refer to M. everetti (Long 1992).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Wilting, A., Duckworth, J.W., Hearn, A. & Ross, J.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Wong, A. & Azlan J., M.
Bornean Ferret Badger is listed as Endangered reflecting its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO), which is about 4,200 km2 (Borneo Carnivore Symposium unpublished data; Wilting et al. in prep.), and thus smaller than the 5,000 km2 threshold for potential categorisation as Endangered under criterion B1. Based on all available occurrence records, including historical information from museum specimens, the Bornean Ferret Badger is restricted to Kinabalu and Crocker Range Parks and the close surrounding areas (Wong et al. 2011), constituting two to three locations. Although survey effort in montane forests in northeast Kalimantan and Sarawak and southern Sabah have been limited, there is currently no evidence that the Bornean Ferret Badger occurs in these regions, so, under the precautionary principle, these areas were not included in the estimated extent of occurrence. The small geographic distribution range is fragmented by roads including the main East-West Sabah highway. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is assessed as totalling about 1,100 km2; parts are predicted to lie outside national parks and thus there is a plausible decline in its range, habitat quality (although the species' habitat associations are too poorly known to be sure of the effects of recent widespread habitat change in its range) and thus population size. The only systematic camera-trapping effort within the species’ range, in Crocker Range Park, revealed much lower detection rates for this species than for similar-sized small carnivores (A.J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014). Although there may not be a relationship between detection rates and abundance, these data suggest that even within its core range the species is rare and potentially occurs today at low densities (in parts of the Asian mainland, ferret badgers are camera-trapped in large numbers without the use of specialised camera-trapping protocol; southern China – Lau et al. 2010, Viet Nam – D.H.A. Willcox pers. comm. 2014). It is further projected that climate change will, on Borneo, particularly threaten highland species, such as Bornean Ferret Badger, for which potential upslope range shifts would be impossible (Struebig et al. 2015).
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Data Deficient (DD)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)
1990 Insufficiently Known (K)
1988 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The only confirmed records of Bornean Ferret Badger are from Kinabalu and Crocker Range Parks, and the adjacent districts of Penampang, Tambunan and Tuaran in Sabah, Malaysia (Wong et al. 2011, Wilting et al. in prep.). In the latter three districts, 57 specimens were collected within a few years in the late 1960s to early 1970s (Wong et al. 2011). Dinets (2003) reported a sighting at 1,950 m asl at Kinabalu Park. Other recent records come from Crocker Range Park, where Wong et al. (2011) captured one individual at Gunung Alab and A.J. Hearn and J. Ross (pers. comm. 2014) camera-trapped it at three sites in the southern part of the park. All records of Bornean Ferret Badger are from uplands and highlands, between 500 m asl and over 3,000 m asl (Borneo Carnivore Symposium database). The field sighting by Boonratana (2010) from a tributary of the Kinabatangan River, Sabah, is here considered to have been in error: the lower Kinabatangan is more than 200 km east of the other records, is in the extreme lowlands and has received high subsequent observer effort without the species otherwise being found there (Wilting et al. in prep.). Wozencraft (2005) stated that the species occurs in “Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak)” but this source contains multiple known distribution errors and this is assumed to be another of them. For Sarawak, there is only sub-fossil evidence from the Niah caves (Harrison 1996), and there are apparently no records from Indonesia.
Countries occurrence:
Malaysia (Sabah)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 1100
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 4200
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Number of Locations: 2-3
Continuing decline in number of locations: No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: Unknown
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Almost nothing is known about Bornean Ferret Badger population status or size within its small range. The high number of specimens in the Sabah Museum, all collected within a short period, suggests that this species naturally might occur at high densities, although the trapping effort for this collection is unknown. Since these collections over 40 years ago most records of Bornean Ferret Badger were single occurrence records, from which even coarse densities cannot be inferred. The low camera-trap encounter rate relative to other small carnivores in Crocker Range Park (A.J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014) rather suggests lower population densities, or only localised higher abundances. There is no direct information on population trend, but it is assumed to be in at least shallow decrease based on the amount of habitat conversion and encroachment coupled with a lack of road-kill records (and only one sighting of a live animal from a road; J.A. Eaton pers. comm. 2014) which, given greatly increased road traffic volumes in its range, suggests it is not common in converted habitats.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: Unknown Population severely fragmented: No
All individuals in one subpopulation: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: All records of Bornean Ferret Badger seem to come from within evergreen hill and montane forest or adjacent scrubland. J.A. Eaton (pers. comm. 2014) saw one along a main road through shrubby secondary regrowth between two villages, but this was only a couple of hundred metres from tall forest. In contrast to the related Javan Ferret Badger M. orientalis, there seem to be no records from agricultural landscapes. Very little is known about Bornean Ferret Badger diet, but Payne et al. (1985) noted earthworms and small vertebrates. Dinets (2003) observed a Bornean Ferret Badger at a roadside rubbish dump in Kinabalu Park. Whereas Javan Ferret Badger has been observed to feed at picnic sites along the tourist trails of Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Java (Duckworth et al. 2008), Bornean Ferret Badger has so far not been observed along the picnic sites at the hiking trails of Mount Kinabalu (F.Y.Y. Tuh and M. Lakim pers. comm. to Wong et al. 2011). This species is believed to be nocturnal (corroborated by the few camera-trapping records; A.J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014) and ground-dwelling and fossorial (Payne et al. 1985).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5.9
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No extractive use is known for this species but relevant contextual information is too scant to be sure it does not occur.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to Bornean Ferret Badger are all linked to its very small distribution range (which is likely to be much less than 5,000 km2) and the restriction to a single forest complex. This makes the species very vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events, such as an epidemic or natural catastrophes. It is further projected for Borneo that climate change is particularly likely to have negative effects on highland species such as Bornean Ferret Badger because potential upslope range shifts would be impossible (Struebig et al. 2015). Although its habitat associations are too poorly known to be sure that the recent widespread habitat change in its range poses an imminent threat, the ongoing paucity of incidental records (such as road-kills) in converted habitats suggests that the species is threatened by the ongoing land-cover transformations. There is no information on its susceptibility to whatever hunting levels occur in its range. It is not significantly traded, but it is no doubt caught in non-selective traps. In sum, several plausible threats operate but the population-level effects of each are unclear.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is currently listed on the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 as Melogale personata not as Melogale everetti; this listing under an obsolete name could complicate enforcement of its protected status. This species is not listed on CITES, and indeed there is neither evidence nor likelihood, at present, of threat from international trade. This species is only confirmed from Mount Kinabalu and Crocker Range Parks and adjacent districts, but even within this small range occurrence records are rare and scattered. Additional surveys within this range are warranted, to clarify its range, population status and, most importantly determine the threats it faces to allow effective conservation actions to be developed. Surveys in highland forests in north-eastern Sarawak and North Kalimantan are also needed, to look for additional populations.

Citation: Wilting, A., Duckworth, J.W., Hearn, A. & Ross, J. 2015. Melogale everetti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13110A45199541. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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