Poiana leightoni 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Poiana leightoni
Species Authority: Pocock, 1908
Common Name(s):
English West African Oyan, Leighton's Linsang, West African Linsang
French Poiane d'Afrique occidentale
Poiana richardsonii subspecies liberiensis Pocock, 1908
Taxonomic Notes: This species has been considered a subspecies of Central African Oyan P. richardsonii, but is here considered a valid species following Rosevear (1974), Wozencraft (2005) and Van Rompaey and Colyn (2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-04-20
Assessor(s): Gaubert, P. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Dunham, A. & Hoffmann, M.
West African Oyan is listed as Vulnerable based on a likely total population of 6,700–10,000 mature individuals (roughly estimated based on a range area of ca 50,000 km², an average population density highly unlikely to exceed 2–3 individuals/10 km², and a proportion of mature individuals of 67%) and a likely population decline of at least 10% over the last 12 years (assuming a generation length of four years) based on the loss of habitat within its range in the upper Guinea forests, combined with the impacts of hunting.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Data Deficient (DD)
1996 Data Deficient (DD)
1996 Data Deficient (DD)
1994 Indeterminate (I)
1990 Indeterminate (I)
1988 Indeterminate (I)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: West African Oyan is endemic to West Africa. It is confirmed only in south-western Côte d’Ivoire, where it is known from two records; and in eastern Liberia, where there are several records (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013). The presence of this species in the Kounounkan Massif in south-western Guinea (Barnett et al. 1996) requires confirmation (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013). There is no confirmed record of the species from Sierra Leone.
Countries occurrence:
Côte d'Ivoire; Liberia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no reliable information on the population status of this species. Apparently it is rare and very localised (Rosevear 1974). The most recent confirmed records are from Liberia in the late 1980s (Taylor 1992), but no serious search effort has been undertaken since then. The species has apparently not been reported from bushmeat markets over the past 25 years; this might reflect the limited number of surveys within and around its known range and/or the fact that the arboreal behaviour of this species takes it out of the range of most of the hunting effort.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 6700-10000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: Unknown Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: Unknown All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inhabitant of the rainforest canopy (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013), where it apparently builds nests at a height of at least 2 m above the ground in which to sleep during the day (H.-J. Kuhn in Nowak 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Specimens have been collected from hunters, but it is unclear whether this species is used as bushmeat, for its pelt or in traditional medicine.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Like Johnston's Genet (Genetta johnstoni), Bourlon's Genet (G. bourloni) and Liberian Mongoose (Liberiictis kuhni), this species is believed to be affected by ongoing habitat loss in the upper Guinean forests, possibly more so given that it is a canopy species. It is unclear to what degree this semi-arboreal species is impacted by bushmeat hunting, but this could be a threat since most of the specimens collected during field expeditions were acquired from hunters.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It may occur in the Sangbé National Park (NP) in Côte d’Ivoire (Hoppe-Dominik 1990) and the type locality is not far away from the northern boundary of Liberia’s Sapo NP (Schreiber et al. 1989). This is a priority species for further survey work, particularly to determine its current range and population status, whether or not it is subject to damaging levels of hunting, and to investigate other aspects of its ecology. It is presently too poorly known to define relevant conservation needs.

Citation: Gaubert, P. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Poiana leightoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T44165A45220840. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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