Paradoxurus jerdoni 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Paradoxurus jerdoni Blanford, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Brown Palm Civet, Jerdon's Palm Civet
Spanish Civeta de Palmera de Jerdon
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies have been recognised (e.g. Corbet and Hill 1992) but there is no recent taxonomic revision (Veron et al. 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Mudappa, D., Choudhury, A. & Punjabi, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Schipper, J.
Brown Palm Civet is listed as Least Concern because (i) although it is restricted to south-west India, its range (both as Extent of Occurrence and as Area of Occupancy) is larger than that needed for listing as even Near Threatened; (ii) even in the absence of a formal population estimate, its evident abundance even within highly disturbed and fragmented areas, with many animals living in plantation-dominated landscapes, and its large population known from surveys in several areas, indicate that its population is also well above the level required for listing as even Near Threatened; and (iii) habitat loss over the last three generations (taken as 15 years) has been insufficient to drive habitat-based population declines at rates even for Near Threatened, and this situation is envisaged to remain similar over the next three generations. If habitat loss were to speed up considerably (including conversion of coffee and cardamom plantations (which hold substantial numbers of the species) into tea or other non-agroforestry land-uses (which do not support it), this assessment would need revision.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Brown Palm Civet is found in southern India, in the Western Ghats from Achankovil Reserved Forest (Kerala) in the south to the Wai region of Maharashtra (at 18°01′08″N, 73°40′28″E) in the north (Pocock 1939, Corbet and Hill 1992, Mudappa 1998, Rajamani et al. 2002, Bhosale et al. 2013, Chunekar 2014). It has been recorded over the altitude range of 278-2,000 m (Rajamani et al. 2002, Bhosale et al. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):278
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Brown Palm Civet was previously generally believed to be rare, but recent searches have found it commonly in relatively undisturbed rainforest such as in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and in forest fragments with remnant native vegetation, such as those on the Valparai plateau (Mudappa 2002, Rajamani et al. 2002). Areas where it is found only rarely are those supporting mostly unsuitable habitat such as deciduous forest, even in these areas it can be commonly recorded in the patches of (semi-)evergreen forest; such a pattern is observed in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Kalle et al. 2013). It was the most frequently seen small carnivore in Kalakad-Mundanthurai TR between May 1996 and December 1999 (Mudappa 2002). Abundance has not been quantified, given its nocturnal and arboreal habits (Rajamani et al. 2002).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Brown Palm Civet has been recorded only in evergreen forest and in degraded and anthropogenic habitats over former evergreen forest, such as coffee plantations; there are no records from deciduous forests. It inhabits large contiguous forests, high-altitude montane evergreen forest patches or sholas, and small forest fragments amid plantations of tea and coffee; its occurrence is higher in medium-sized forest fragments contiguous with coffee plantations than in forest fragments isolated by non-woody habitat (Rajamani et al. 2002, Mudappa et al. 2007, Kalle et al. 2013). It seems to be most common in altitudes above 1,000 m (Mudappa 2001), but Rajamani et al. (2002) suspected that its distribution may depend more on the structure and floristics of forests, rather than on altitude.

It is largely arboreal (far more so than is the related Common Palm Civet P. hermaphroditus) although descending regularly to the ground, as indicated by success in live-trapping and camera-trapping (Mudappa 1998, Rajamani et al. 2002). It is nocturnal and mainly frugivorous, feeding on at least 50 rainforest tree and liana fruit species, although it does supplement its diet with birds, rodents, and insects (Pocock 1939, Mudappa et al. 2010).
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There does not seem to be any significant off-take of the species but in some parts of it range,this aspect is too poorly understood to be sure

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Brown Palm Civet populations presumably declined greatly during the main era of deforestation in the Western Ghats, but for the last few decades forest loss rates in its range have been low, and habitat-based declines are also assessed as low. Forest is still lost locally to large construction (e.g. dam) and mining activities, and to plantations of coffee, cardamom, rubber, and tea (Ashraf et al. 1993, D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014, G.A. Punjabi pers. comm. 2014). Potentially more serious for this species could be the conversion of coffee and cardamom plantations (which hold substantial numbers of the species) into tea or other non-agroforestry uses (which do not support it). However, all these changes are too limited at present to consider as active threats. The species is tolerant of fragmented landscapes (Mudappa et al. 2007). In most of its range, hunting is unlikely to be a major threat, but illegal hunting is still locally common in privately owned plantations (Ashraf et al. 1993) and some are doubtless killed, but plausibly not enough to cause declines. Because of its mainly frugivorous and arboreal habits, it can survive in heavily encroached areas provided some fragments remain with relatively unbroken canopy and adequate food resources, such as coffee and cardamom plantation, but not tea, eucalyptus, or teak (Rajamani et al. 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Brown Palm Civet is listed on CITES Appendix III by India, as well as Schedule II part II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (Rajamani et al, 2002). It occurs in many protected areas within its distribution (Ashraf et al. 1993, Rajamani et al. 2002). Long-term protection of old-growth rainforests, both large tracts as well as fragments, is important to the conservation of this species (Rajamani et al. 2002). The many recent records from degraded and fragmented forest amid agriculture and human settlement, in areas that have been like this for decades, indicate that, at present, there are no obvious short-term conservation needs.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ 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 ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ 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 ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Ashraf, N.V.K., Kumar, A. and Johnsingh, A.J.T. 1993. Two endemic viverrids of the Western Ghats, India. Oryx 27: 109–114.

Bhosale, H.S., Punjabi, G.A. and Bardapurkar, R. 2013. Photographic documentation of Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni in Maharashtra, India, north of its known range. Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 37–39.

Chunekar, H. 2014. A record of a white-coated Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni. Small Carnivore Conservation 50: 12–13.

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

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Kalle, R., Ramesh, T., Sankar, K. and Qureshi, Q. 2013. Observations of sympatric small carnivores in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 53–59.

Mudappa, D. 1998. Use of camera-traps to survey small carnivores in the tropical rain forest of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 18: 9-11.

Mudappa, D. 2001. Ecology of the Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni in the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats, India. Bharathiar University (PhD thesis).

Mudappa, D. 2002. Observations of small carnivores in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 27: 4–5.

Mudappa, D., Kumar, A. and Chellam, R. 2010. Diet and fruit choice of the Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni, a viverrid endemic to the Western Ghats rainforest, India. Tropical Conservation Science 3: 282–300.

Mudappa, D., Noon, B.R., Kumar, A. and Chellam, R. 2007. Responses of small carnivores to rainforest fragmentation in the southern Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 36: 18–26.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Pocock, R.I. 1939. The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. 2ndedn, vol. I. Taylor & Francis, London, UK.

Rajamani, N., Mudappa, D. and Van Rompaey, H. 2002. Distribution and status of the Brown Palm Civet in the Western Ghats, South India. Small Carnivore Conservation 27: 6-11.

Veron, G., Patou, M.-L., Toth, M., Goonatilake, M. and Jennings, A.P. 2015. How many species of Paradoxurus civets are there? New insights from India and Sri Lanka. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 53: 161–174.

Citation: Mudappa, D., Choudhury, A. & Punjabi, G.A. 2016. Paradoxurus jerdoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16104A45201757. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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