Chrotogale owstoni 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Chrotogale owstoni
Species Authority: Thomas, 1912
Common Name(s):
English Owston's Civet, Owston's Banded Civet, Owston's Banded Palm Civet, Owston's Palm Civet
Hemigalus owstoni Thomas, 1912
Taxonomic Notes: This species may contain two distinct geographic clades (Veron et al. 2004). Corbet and Hill (1992) refer to this species as being in the genus Hemigalus, but Veron and Heard (2000) argue for status as a separate genus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Roberton, S., Timmins, R.J., Long, B., Wang Ying-Xiang & Tran Quang Phuong
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (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 (estimated at 15 years), inferred from over-exploitation, and habitat destruction and degradation. Hunting is a severe threat and is estimated to greatly impact populations in most of the range, because the species is primarily ground-dwelling and so is exposed to the very high levels of snaring and other forms of ground-level trapping throughout its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Indeterminate (I)
1990 Insufficiently Known (K)
1988 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known to occur in northern and central provinces of Lao PDR (Duckworth et al.1999, Johnson et al. 2004), Viet Nam and southern China in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces (CITES 1997; Wang Ying-Xiang pers. comm.). Northern and central Viet Nam appear to hold the largest area of this species distribution range (Long and Roberton in prep., Roberton et al. in prep.) occurring from the most northern provinces in the Hoang Lien Son mountains and northern limestone highlands and throughout the northern and central Annamites (Long and Roberton in prep.; Rozhnov et al. 1992; Long et al., 2004). It has not been found west of the Mekong river (Corbet and Hill 1992, Rozhnov et al. 1992). In the Southern Annamites, the potential range is based on the occurrence of suitable forest type and elevation, unconfirmed village reports and similarly distributed species but there is no confirmed data from this area (Roberton et al. in prep.). The range may also potentially extend into Cambodia for the same reasons, and two stuffed individuals have been seen in the Phnom Tamao zoo collection of stuffed mounts, yet lack any information on their source (Long and Roberton, in prep.)
Countries occurrence:
China; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Lower elevation limit (metres): 400
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population status is poorly known across its range. It has been said that this species does not seem to be as abundant as other civet species in the region such as Paguma larvata, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Viverricula indica and Viverra zibetha (Veron et al. 2004). Within some parts of its range it is clearly scarce, e.g. In Quang Nam province in the central Annamites of Viet Nam only two animals were photographed during a camera trapping survey (Long et al. 2004). Despite concerns that this species was not at all common, Bourret (1944) determined it was locally common, and even considered it the most common civet between the Fansipan mountains and the Black river in northern Viet Nam. Two more recent trapping studies, one in the Hoang Lien mountains in northwestern Viet Nam and one in Pu Mat National Park in the northern Annamites this civet to be one of the most commonly photographed small carnivores in these areas (Lei Pu Long et al. in prep; SFNC 2000). It therefore may best be considered locally abundant and locally scarce
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The habitat use and general ecology of this species are poorly known. It has been recorded in lowland and montane evergreen forests, broadleaf forests over limestone, bamboo forest, heavily degraded forest and forest edges (Duckworth et al, 1999; Timmins and Cuong 2001; Johnson et al. 2004; Long and Roberton, in prep; Wang Ying-Xiang pers. comm.). The range restriction of Owston’s civet in eastern Lao PDR is thought to be associated with the extent of wet evergreen forest in the eastern Annamites (Timmins and Cuong 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Owston Civet is taken for meat, and traditional medicine (including their bones, scent gland, and penis) in all of its range countries yet is also valued for its pelt and as a live animal in zoos in Vietnam and China (Long and Roberton in prep.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and degradation were assessed as the major threats to Owston’s civet when it was still effectively unknown in the west (Schreiber et al. 1989). Throughout its distribution this species is threatened by intensive snare trapping for meat, traditional medicine, living trophies and skin, and there has been an increased demand for civet meat in Chinese and Viet Namese markets (Bell et al. 2004; Lyman et al. 2005; Long and Roberton in prep.). Although habitat fragmentation magnifies the impact of hunting on populations, insight on the direct effects of habitat factors is thus far limited.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Due to its restricted distribution and possible high level of threat, the Owston's civet is of conservation concern (Veron et al. 2004; Long and Roberton in prep.). This species was listed as ‘Threatened’ in the IUCN Action Plan for the Conservation of Mustelids and Viverrids (Schreiber et al., 1989). This species is listed as Endangered on the China Red List and Vulnerable in the Viet Nam Red Book (MOSTE 2000). It is protected in Yunnan province, but not in Guangxi (GMA Small Carnivore Workshop 2006), whilst in Viet Nam the species is listed in group IIB meaning exploitation is regulated but not prohibited (Decree 32/2006/ND-CP).

A successful international breeding program, coordinated from Viet Nam, has been established with populations in Europe, Viet Nam and soon in North America and the species has been the flagship species for the Small carnivore Conservation Program of Cuc Phuong National Park in Viet Nam for the last 10 years (Roberton, S. pers comm. Heard Rosenthal, 1999).

It is likely to be present in protected areas throughout its distribution, and has been confirmed in 10 protected areas in Viet Nam (Roberton et al. in prep.), two in Lao PDR and three in China (GMA Small Carnivore Workshop 2006).

Citation: Roberton, S., Timmins, R.J., Long, B., Wang Ying-Xiang & Tran Quang Phuong. 2008. Chrotogale owstoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T4806A11096565. . Downloaded on 31 May 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided