Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Paradoxurus jerdoni
Species Authority: Blanford, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Brown Palm Civet, Jerdon's Palm Civet
Spanish Civeta De Palmera De Jerdon
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies have been recognized (Corbet and Hill 1992) but there is no recent taxonomic revision.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Muddapa D. & Choudbury, A.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern because in view of its abundance within highly disturbed and fragmented areas, with many animals living in plantation-dominated landscapes, and its large population known from surveys in several areas. However this species has a restricted distribution, and there is continuing habitat loss and conversion of coffee/cardamom plantations (which hold substantial numbers of the species) into tea (which does not support it), but not at rates nearly sufficient to drive habitat-based population declines at rates even for Near Threatened. These factors mean that the species ought to be monitored and may warrant concern in the future; the role of the remaining tall forest fragments as sources for the animals living in artificial habitats is not clear. Although the species does not currently qualify for Near Threatened there is some concern that it may be declining in some portions of its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (V)
1990 Indeterminate (I)
1988 Indeterminate (I)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in southern India (Wilson and Reeder, 2005), where it is found in the Western Ghats (Pocock 1939, Corbet and Hill 1992, Mudappa 1998).The distribution of this species has been poorly documented due to its nocturnal and arboreal habits (Rajamani et al, 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population status is poorly known. It is not as rare as it was previously generally believed to be, at least in relatively undisturbed rainforest (Mudappa, 2002). It was the most frequently seen small carnivore in Kalakad-Mudanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) between May 1996 and December 1999 (Mudappa, 2002). The abundance of this species has been poorly documented due to its nocturnal and arboreal habits (Rajamani et al, 2002). Ryley (1913) found then to be fairly abundant in Coorg, though not nearly as common as Paradoxerus hermaphroditus (Rajamani et al, 2002). Recent studies suggest that this species is not as rare as it was thought to be (Mudappa, 2001; Rajamani et al, 2002). It appears to be fairly common in Kakachi-Upper Kodayar (Ganesh, 1997) and other areas above 1,000 m within the KMTR in the Agasthyamalai hills and also in the Anamalai hills (Mudappa, 2001).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It has been recorded in evergreen forest and occasionally in coffee plantations (Rajamani et al, 2002). It was most common in altitudes above 1,000 m, though they were seen as low as 700 m (Mudappa, 2002).

It is largely arboreal and nocturnal, and mainly frugivorous, feeding on nearly 40 rainforest tree and liana fruit species, though it does supplement its diet with birds, rodents, and insescts (Pocock 1939). It is often found in coffee plantations (Pocock 1939). This species is often sighted in elevated (above 500 m) moist forest (Ashraf et al, 1993). It is nocturnal and predominantly arboreal, but is often found on the ground, as indicated by success in trapping and camera trapping (Mudappa, 2002). It is known mostly from tropical rainforests (Rajamani et al, 2002), but has been recorded from coffee estates in Coorg and Anamalais (Ryley, 1913; Ashraf et al, 1993; Mudappa, 2001). In a survey conducted in the Western Ghats in 2001-02, all 23 sightings of this species were in evergreen forests, including five in high altitude montane evergreen forest or sholas (Rajamani et al, 2002). It was recorded in both undisturbed, large patches of contiguous forest, as well as in fragments surrounded by plantations of tea, and human habitations (Rajamani et al, 2002). They were recorded on forest trails and along main roads, often exposed to traffic (Rajamani et al, 2002). Rajamani et al (2002) found that this species may be more dependent on the structure and floristics of forests, rather than on altitude.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Populations may be threatened by habitat destruction due to mining activities in Kudremukh (which has since been closed by the government), hydroelectric projects in Anamalais, and large-scale plantations of coffee, cardamom, and tea in and around protected areas (Ashraf et al, 1993). Hunting is unlikely to be a major threat to this species, however, illegal hunting is still common in privately owned plantations (Ashraf et al, 1993). As it is highly frugivorous and arboreal, fragmentation of rainforest habitat is likely a threat to this species (Mudappa, 2002). Due to its mainly frugivorous and arboreal habits, it can survive in heavily encroached areas provided some fragments remain with relatively unbroken canopy and adequate food resources, such as coffee and cardamom plantation, but not tea, Eucalyptus, or teak (Rajamani et al, 2002). The species is tolerant of fragmented landscapes (Mudappa in press).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix III (Wilson and Reeder, 2005), as well as Schedule II part II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (Rajamani et al, 2002). This species is likely to be found in 25 protected areas within its distribution (Ashraf et al, 1993). It was recorded from Kalakad-Mudanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) between May 1996 and December 1999 (Mudappa, 2002). More surveys are needed to determine the abundance and distribution of this species, due to concern about threats from commercial plantations of coffee, tee, Eucalyptus spp, and teak, as well as other development activities (Menon and Bawa, 1997; Rajamani et al, 2002). Long-term protection of primary rainforests, both large tracts as well as fragments, is imperative to the conservation of this species (Rajamani et al, 2002). More surveys are urgently needed to determine the true abundance and distribution of this species. More information about possible threats would allow more certainty over its status.

Citation: Muddapa D. & Choudbury, A. 2008. Paradoxurus jerdoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16104A5387967. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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