Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Civettictis civetta
Species Authority: (Schreber, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English African Civet
French Civette africaine, Civette d'Afrique

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Ray, J., Gaubert, P. & Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a wide distribution range, is present in a variety of habitats, is relatively common across its range, and present in numerous protected areas. It may be undergoing some localized declines due to hunting and might be rendered more vulnerable in areas where preferred bushmeat becomes scarce.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Widely distributed in Africa from Senegal and Mauritania to southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and southern Somalia southwards in all countries to north-eastern Namibia, north and east Botswana, and north-eastern South Africa (Ray in press). Present on Zanzibar I. (Pakenham 1984). Recorded to altitudes of 5,000 m asl on Mt Kilimanjaro (Moreau 1944).Widely distributed in Africa from Senegal and Mauritania to southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and southern Somalia southwards in all countries to north-eastern Namibia, north and east Botswana, and north-eastern South Africa (Ray in press). Present on Zanzibar I. (Pakenham 1984). Recorded to altitudes of 5,000 m asl on Mt Kilimanjaro (Moreau 1944).
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Generally common. Based on track counts recorded along transects in a lowland forest in SW Gabon, density estimated at 1/km² (Prins and Reitsma 1989).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occupy a wide variety of habitats including secondary forest, woodland, and bush habitats, as well as aquatic environments. They are generally absent from arid regions, with the exception of riverine systems therein. They are apparently uncommon in mature interior forest habitats, but will infiltrate deep forest via logging roads, and in the forests of West and Central Africa, they thrive in degraded and deforested areas, and are regularly encountered near villages (Ray in press). Omnivorous and opportunistic foragers.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species. However, they are commonly found for sale as bushmeat, and are one of the most abundant mammals found in bushmeat markets in SE Nigeria, where they are utilized for both food and skin (Angelici et al. 1999). They are frequently found trapped for meat in other countries, including Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, and Cameroon (Ray in press). African Civets are economically important due to their perennial secretion, which was exploited for many centuries as a fixing agent for perfumes. Even though synthetic alternatives have been available for more than 60 years, civetone remains an important export commodity in several countries, such as Ethiopia, and to a lesser extant, Niger and Senegal (Ray 1995, in press, Ray et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: They are present in numerous protected areas across their range. The population of Botswana is listed on CITES Appendix III.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Other chemicals
 International : ✓ 

♦  Wearing apparel, accessories
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Angelici, F.M., Luiselli, L., Politano, E. and Akani, G.C. 1999. Bushmen and mammal fauna: A survey of the mammals traded in bush-meat markets of local people in the rainforests of southeastern Nigeria. Anthropozoologica 30: 51-58.

Moreau, R.E. 1944. Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya: Some comparisons with special reference to the mammals and birds; and with a note on Mount Meru. Tanganyika Notes and Records 18: 28-68.

Pakenham, R.H.W. 1984. The Mammals of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Printed Privately, Harpenden.

Prins, H.H.T. and Reitsma, J.M. 1989. Mammalian biomass in an African equatorial rain forest. Journal of Animal Ecology 58: 851-861.

Ray, J.C. 1995. Civettictis civetta. Mammalian Species 488: 1-7.

Ray, J.C. 2013. Civettictis civetta African civet. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 255-259. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Ray, J.C., Hunter, L. and Zigouris, J. 2005. Setting conservation and research priorities for larger African carnivores. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA.

Citation: Ray, J., Gaubert, P. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Civettictis civetta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41695A10519533. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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