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Prionodon linsang 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Prionodontidae

Scientific Name: Prionodon linsang
Species Authority: (Hardwicke, 1821)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Linsang
Synonym(s):
Viverra linsang Hardwicke, 1821
Taxonomic Notes: The two Asian linsang Prionodon species, formerly classified as part of the civet family (Viverridae), are now known to comprise their own separate family, the Prionodontidae (see Gaubert and Veron 2003, Gaubert and Cordeiro-Estrela 2006, Barycka 2007). Four subspecies of Banded Linsang P. linsang have been described, but there has been no recent taxonomic revision: P. l. linsang from southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra; P. l. gracilis from Java and Borneo; P. l. fredericae from Bangka Island; and P. l. interlinus from Belitung Island (Van Rompaey 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W., Mathai, J., Chutipong, W., Brodie, J. & Wilting, A.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Cheyne, S. & Azlan J., M.
Justification:
Banded Linsang is listed as Least Concern, because, although in common with other Sundaic evergreen forest species, it can be assumed to be in range-wide population decline (with extensive deforestation over the last few decades), there is neither evidence nor suspicion that this is at a rate sufficient to qualify it even as Near Threatened (in particular, the species's wide altitudinal range puts a large proportion of its range outside the altitudinal bands of major Sundaic forest conversion; see Miettinen et al. 2011). There is no evidence that it is a target species in hunting or trade, or any other reason why populations would be declining within remaining habitat. Available information suggests significant tolerance of encroachment and even use of plantations (e.g., Lim 1973; see 'Habitats and ecology' section), implying that population decline rates will be lower than forest loss rates. The rise in camera-trapping across its range in the last 20 years has found it in many areas. Encounter rates are generally low; this is assumed to represent a mix of natural low density (as typical for a highly carnivorous species; not a sign of recent decline within remaining habitat) and a tendency for camera-trapping, as typically employed, to be not particularly effective at detecting it when present. Some surveys find it amongst the most-encountered small carnivores and whether this reflects locally high abundance or specific camera-trap setting style more appropriate to the species is not known. More information on the effectiveness of camera-trapping in detecting the species would allow more confident deductions about its global status.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Banded Linsang occurs in Sundaic South-east Asia (Van Rompaey 1993, Jennings and Veron 2015), including the Thai-Malay Peninsular (Malaysia, e.g. Ratnam et al. 1995, Azlan 2003, Kawanishi and Sunquist 2004; southern Myanmar, e.g., Than Zaw et al. 2008; southern and south western Thailand, e.g. Chutipong et al. 2014); Borneo (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, e.g. Van Rompaey 1993, Wells et al. 2005); Sumatra (e.g. Holden 2006); and Java (e.g. Suyanto 2003, Rode-Margono et al. 2014), as well as the smaller islands of Bangka and Belitung (Van Rompaey 1993). It is evidently widespread on the Thai-Malay Peninsular, Borneo and Sumatra (Jennings and Veron 2015). On Java, it has been suggested to be perhaps restricted to the west, but there are two historical specimens from the Ijang plateau in East Java (held in Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany), and, given recent decades' very low levels of small carnivore survey in Java (see, e.g., Riffel 1991), the species's range on Java might be larger than yet documented. The northernmost confirmed record in the world is from Mae Wong National Park, Thailand, at 15°53′N, considerably further north than for the various other Sundaic small carnivores (Chutipong et al. 2014). It perhaps occurs in Myanmar even further north, to about 16°30′N; but this is based on an old record that lacks detail on origin (Steinmetz and Simcharoen 2006). A claim in northern-central Thailand at 17° 54'N (Humphrey and Bain 1990) is probably erroneous (Steinmetz and Simcharoen 2006); it would be biogeographically highly surprising, it lacks detail or verifiable support, and the species is surprisingly often confused with others (Than Zaw et al. 2008). It has been recorded from altitudes ranging from 11 to 2,700 m (Jennings and Veron 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Myanmar; Thailand
Additional data:
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):11
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population status of Banded Linsang is poorly known. Various authors have considered it uncommon or rare, apparently based solely on the paucity of records relative to some other sympatric mammals (Chasen 1940, Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1961, Davis 1962, Lim 1973, Lekagul and McNeely 1977, Van Rompaey 1993). Since these assessments, camera-trapping has found the species widely throughout its range, in most evergreen survey areas other than those with only low search effort. Most surveys within its range - whether based on camera-trapping or direct observation (spotlighting) - typically find it only a handful of times.  Whether this generally low recording rate represents genuinely low population density or simply elusive behaviour, or some combination of the two, is not clear (Van Rompaey 1993). By contrast, several surveys have camera-trapped it more frequently than most other small carnivores, in single survey areas in Java (Yoneda et al. 1998), Borneo (Samejima and Semiadi 2012) and peninsular Malaysia (Hedges et al. 2013). Whether these have covered areas supporting unusually large numbers of the species, or whether these surveyors' precise style of camera-trapping was particularly suitable to find it, is unclear; relative recording rates from two survey teams using different camera-trap setting methodology in Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia, suggest that detection likelihood of Banded Linsang might depend strongly on precise camera-trapping style (Wilting et al. 2010). If the typically low encounter rate indicates a generally low population density, this could have implications for forest-block size likely to support the species into the long term.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Banded Linsang natural history has never been studied in the field and most statements about it are based to a greater or lesser extent on speculation and extrapolation from little real information. It has been recorded in primary and secondary forest and in human-inhabited areas (e.g., Van Rompaey 1993, Ratnam et al. 1995, Azlan 2003, Kawanishi and Sunquist 2004, Wells et al. 2005). Its range coincides well with Sundaic evergreen forest, and although at the northern extent of its range, in Thailand, some records come from survey areas containing both evergreen and deciduous forest, all precisely located records there come from evergreen forest, despite substantial survey effort in deciduous areas (Chutipong et al. 2014). Java is the only other part of its range containing extensive deciduous areas but there has been no collation of records from the island to examine habitat use. Many records come from degraded and/or fragmented forest, and Lim (1973), with more direct experience of the species in the wild than most people who have written about it, considered that it might even be associated with secondary growth and edge habitats. This assessment was based, in part, on analysis of stomach contents, indicating that sightings in such habitats are not simply of animals in transit. Similarly, in both north-east Peninsular Malaysia and in Sarawak, Mohd Azlan J. (pers. comm. 2006) recorded it in secondary forest, including some adjacent to oil palm plantations. By contrast, Brodie et al. (2015) in Malaysian Borneo found lower local prevalence in forests that were selectively logged within the previous 10 years than in unlogged forests; in areas selectively logged more than 10 years previously, local prevalence was intermediate.

The many camera-trap records now available show that Banded Linsang is almost entirely nocturnal (e.g. Jennings and Veron 2015). It appears to be typically solitary and highly carnivorous (Lim 1973, Jennings and Veron 2015). It is a good climber (Van Rompaey 1993) but statements that it is largely arboreal lack strong empirical support. The many camera-trap records now available show that it spends much time on the ground, and factors other than arboreality perhaps explain the relatively low encounter rates; by comparison, the largely sympatric Malay Weasel Mustela nudipes is typically camera-trapped even less frequently than in Banded Linsang, and this is not suspected to reflect arboreality (e.g., Ross et al. 2013). It can live up to ten years and eight months in captivity (Jones 1982).
Systems:Terrestrial
Generation Length (years):4.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no evidence of specific trade or subsistence demand for Banded Linsang or any of its parts. Nonetheless, because much hunting in its range uses non-selective methods, there is certainly some off-take.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Population declines are surely under-way for Banded Linsang, at least in proportion to the rate of conversion of forest into non-forest habitats. Such conversion has been rampant in the Sundaic lowlands in recent decades (e.g. Holmes 2000, BirdLife International 2001, Jepson et al. 2001, McMorrow and Talip 2001, Lambert and Collar 2002, Kinnaird et al. 2003, Curran et al. 2004, Fuller 2004, Eames et al. 2005, Miettinen et al. 2011, Stibig et al. 2014). It has recently slowed in some areas (e.g. Thailand, West Malaysia, Sabah, Java), in part because there is now little forest left outside protected areas; but rates are still high in some other areas (notably Sumatra, Kalimantan and Myanmar). While such conversion renders some of the species's former habitat now unsuitable, it is unlikely to be a threat to its survival or maintenance of natural range, given the species's wide altitudinal use (forest conversion rates in hills are considerably lower) and use of edge and degraded areas. Similarly, while there is some off-take and even international trade (e.g., from Thailand to USA; Van Rompaey 1993), there is nothing to suggest that this is potentially at levels threatening to the species except at the most local of levels.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Banded Linsang is listed on CITES Appendix II. In Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah it receives full protection, but in Sarawak it is not a totally protected species (J. Mathai pers. comm. 2014). It is a totally protected species in Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. 2008) and Thailand under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act 2003 (Chutipong et al. 2014). This species has been recorded in many protected areas across its range. These include, for example, nearly all those comprising evergreen forest that have been surveyed using suitable methodology to sufficient intensity potentially to find the species in its Thai range (Chutipong et al. 2014); comparable compilations do not exist for other parts of its range. A large proportion (over a quarter, as assessed by Jennings and Veron 2015) of suitable habitat in its range is already within gazetted protected areas, indicating a low degree of short-term risk. However, many of these protected areas have little long-term security: forest conversion occurs in many, and if this continues, then the species might become threatened through habitat loss. Although not a priority species for research in South-east Asia, a better understanding of natural history (particularly those facets that would help in the interpretation of survey results for local status assessment) would improve confidence in assessing its global conservation status.

Citation: Duckworth, J.W., Mathai, J., Chutipong, W., Brodie, J. & Wilting, A. 2016. Prionodon linsang. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41705A45219711. . Downloaded on 11 December 2016.
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