Paradoxurus zeylonensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Paradoxurus zeylonensis
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1778)
Common Name(s):
English Golden Palm Civet, Sri Lanka Brown Palm Civet, Golden Wet-Zone Palm Civet, Golden Dry-Zone Palm Civet, Sri Lanka Mountain Palm Civet, Sri Lankan Golden Striped-backed Palm Civet
Paradoxurus aureus F. Cuvier, 1822
Paradoxurus montanus Kelaart, 1852
Paradoxurus stenocephalus Groves, Rajapaksha & Manemandra-Arachchi, 2009
Viverra zeylonensis Pallas, 1778
Taxonomic Notes: Subspecific names have been proposed (Corbet and Hill 1992), but a taxonomic revision is much needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Muddappa, D., Wozencraft, C., Yonzon, P., Jennings, A. & Veron, G.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the hill regions of Sri Lanka. The species is know to persist on only three distributional isolates, within which populations are fragmented in remaining forested habitat (estimated to be less than 10 locations as defined by threat). An effect of the fragmentation and continued population decline is the reduction is the number of mature (breeding) individuals. Further research and monitoring are recommended for this species to better understand population level effects of fragmentation.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Sri Lanka (Wilson and Reeder 2005) and has been recorded in Uda Walawe National Park (Hoffman 1990), the Sinharaja Forest area, Wasgomuwa and Yala National Parks (Ratnayeke pers. comm.). It is currently confined to a small range defined by where natural habitats remain (Schreiber et al. 1989). The species occurs in three distributional isolates.
Countries occurrence:
Sri Lanka
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:According to Phillips (1984) it is not uncommon but is distributed locally, both in the highlands and in the low country, particularly in the highlands around Kandy and in the Dimbulla and Dickoya districts of the Central Province. According to Wijesinghe (1987), it is still widely distributed on the island but is more common in the wetter zone than in the dry zone. It is thought to be quite common, especially in the Sinharaja Forest area. Additional records from this forest come from Karunaratne et al. (1981) and from Baker (1971) who caught a live specimen there which was held in captivity (Schreiber et al. 1989).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is forest-dependent, yet tolerant of minor habitat modification where some continuous forest remains. It is arboreal, nocturnal, and solitary; its diet consists of fruits, berries, invertebrates, and a wide range of small vertebrates (Pocock 1939). Schreiber et al. (1989) report that "this species is much less a follower of man or an inhabitant of agricultural areas than the common palm civet (P. hermaphroditus), and that very little is known of the natural history of this species." It is found in lowland rain forest, evergreen mountain forests, and also dense monsoon forest (at Wilpattu) (Schreiber et al, 1989). No elevation range information is known, though the species occurs mainly in highlands.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): As the species is dependant on forest cover, deforestation is a significant threat to this species – and its tolerance to fragmentation is unknown. Lowland forest (that is found in the wet zone) has almost totally disappeared from Sri Lanka with the main exception being the Sinharaja Forest (Schreiber et al, 1989). It is trapped for its meat in some areas (Schreiber et al., 1989).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is reported inside and outside of protected areas (Muddappa pers. comm.). Schreiber et al. (1989) lists the following recommended conservation actions: "Investigations in Wilpattu and Gal Oya National Parks and Sinharaja Forest to obtain an estimate of the population size there, as well as surveys in other established reserves in Sri Lanka, particularly in the new parks in the Mahaweli basin; Support for the current moves to consolidate the protection status of Sinharaja Forest Man and the Biosphere Reserve, the country’s last sizeable area of lowland rain forest; Research into the species’s ecological and conservation requirements to ascertain why it seems to be less successful in adapting to changes of its habitat than its congener P. hermaphroditus; Continued efforts to establish a breeding colony in captivity."

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 1989. Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives. An Action Plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Wozencraft, W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Muddappa, D., Wozencraft, C., Yonzon, P., Jennings, A. & Veron, G. 2008. Paradoxurus zeylonensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41694A10519099. . Downloaded on 25 June 2016.
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