Hemigalus derbyanus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Hemigalus derbyanus
Species Authority: (Gray, 1837)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Civet, Banded Palm Civet
Taxonomic Notes: Further taxonomic investigations are needed to verify status of subspecies. The subspecies H. d. minor has been acknowledged, however, H. d. sipora and H. d. derbyanus from Sumatra were combined by Pocock (1933) and the validity of uniting these subspecies is requires further studies (Schreiberet al. 1989).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd+3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hon, J., Azlan, M.J. & Duckworth, J.W.
Reviewer(s): Belant, J. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Vulnerable because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (suspected to be 15 years), inferred from over-exploitation, decline in habitat quality, and habitat destruction and degradation. In addition, considering the current and projected rates of loss in lowland forests within its range, the species is suspected to decline by at least another 30% in the next 3 generations inferred from habitat loss alone. There is no evidence this species can survive outside tall forest. There are records from degraded habitat, but they are all adjoining good forest. Thus, this species is very likely a habitat specialist, confined to in lowland forests (largely below 600 m) and may be disappearing from larger portions of its range than suspected. Large scale habitat loss due to conversion to plantations in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and Thailand (citations given above) is inferred to be driving steep range-wide declines in population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The banded palm civet occurs in the Sundaic region and is found in Peninsular Myanmar, Indonesia (Sipora Island, South Pagi Island, Kalimantan, Sumatra; Holden 2006), Borneo (Azlan 2004; Wells et al. 2005), Peninsular Malaysia (Ratnam et al. 1995; Kawanishi and Sunquist 2004; Laidlaw pers. comm.), and peninsular Thailand (Wozencraft 2005, A.J. Lynam pers. comm). The distribution implies that Brunei may be included in this range but a specific record has not been traced.

The type locality of one race has been reported in Bankachon, Myanmar, but there are no known current records in Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. in press.). According to Payne et al. (1985) this species has been recorded in many localities in Borneo, and there are many subsequent records from the island including Mount Kinabulu National Park in Borneo, near Poring Hot Spring (600 m asl) by Wells et al. (2005) and Similajau National Park (Duckworth 1997). It is found at elevations up to 1,200 m (Payne et al. 1985).

In Sumatra, Holden (2006) had only a few records, all from lowland primary forest (sea level to a few hundred meters, with a maximum of 800 m) in the region of Kerinci Salbat. Other records may exist from the island and need to be collated. However, these data suggest the species may perhaps be confined to lowlands in Sumatra, and does not occur in hills or mountains.
Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Myanmar; Thailand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population status of the banded palm civet is poorly known. Holden (in press) has speculated that this species may be rare where it is found. However, Payne et al (1985) states that it was the second most common viverid in the forests of Sabah, and it occurs in tall and secondary forests. In the 25 years since the data were gathered to make the assessment of Payne et al. was made, habitat landscape in Sabah has changed greatly, and the banded palm civet's current status in Sabah might therefore differ greatly from prior estimations. In peninsular Maylasia, this species has not been found in secondary forests, but was found in Taman Negara National Park (Kawanishi and Sunquist 2004), indicating populations may also be reduced across the species' range in mainland South-east Asia, where forest conversion has been extensive.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Little is known on the ecology of the banded palm civet and further studies are required. This species has been recorded from primary lowland rainforest, but also in disturbed habitat, peat swamp forest and acacia plantations (Ratnam et al. 1995; Azlan, 2004; Wells et al., 2005; Kanchanasaka pers. comm.; B. Giman pers. comm.). In Borneo, it was found at elevations up to 1,200 m (Payne et al., 1985).

It is nocturnal (Lekagul and McNeely 1977). Medway (1969) suggests that it is confined to the ground under tall forest. Davis (1962) found in Borneo that over 90% of its diet was insects, and no stomachs contained fruit or vegetables. All Bornean civets (except Diplogale hosei) have been recorded in disturbed forest areas, though abundance declines in this habitat (Heydon and Bulloh 1996; Colon pers. comm. 2002).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and degradation have been assumed to be major threats to the banded palm civet (Schreiber et al. 1989). Reduction in primary forest habitat has proceeded very fast throughout the lowland Sundaic region in the last 20 years, particularly in the lower altitudes which evidently support the bulk of this species' population (e.g. BirdLife International, 2001; Holmes, 2000; Jepson et al., 2001; McMorrow and Talip, 2001; Lambert and Collar, 2002; Curran et al. 2004; Fuller, 2004; Eames et al. 2005, Aratrakorn et al. 2006; Kinnaird et al. 2003). This has surely lead to steep population declines. In Borneo, the overall density of civets (including the banded palm civet) in logged forests was found to be significantly lower than in primary forests (Heydon and Bulloh 1996). From observation in Thailand there is clear no evidence that the banded palm civet can survive in plantations or other areas outside of evergreen forests (Kanchanasaka pers. comm.). Additionally the Mentawi populations are thought to be impacted by economic development as human settlements expand into civet habitat, resulting in conflicts since this species will prey on domestic livestock such as chickens (Schreiber et al. 1989). Hunting and trade are also threats for this species. Because Banded Civet spends a lot of time on the ground, it is more exposed to snares and other traps than are the partly and largely arboreal palm civets. It is hunted in Sarawak for food. In Thailand, this civet is hunted, and in the last five years, there have been less than five live individuals brought to a zoo (Kanchanasaka pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The banded palm civet is listed on CITES Appendix II. The Mentawai subspecies was listed as "Threatened" in the IUCN Action Plan for the Conservation of Mustelids and Viverrids (Schreiber et al. 1989). This species is protected in Malaysia (Azlan pers. comm.), as well as in Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and in Myanmar.

This species was recorded from Mount Kinabalu National Park in Borneo in 2003-04 (Wells et al. 2005), Temengor Forest Reserve in Malaysia by Ratnam et al. (1995), Similajau National Park in Sarawak (Duckworth 1997), and many other protected areas throughout its range (W. Duckworth in litt. 2006).

Citation: Hon, J., Azlan, M.J. & Duckworth, J.W. 2008. Hemigalus derbyanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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