Genetta tigrina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Genetta tigrina
Species Authority: (Schreber, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Cape Genet, South African Large-spotted Genet, Cape Large-spotted Genet
French Genette à grandes taches d'Afrique du Sud
Taxonomic Notes: Until recently considered conspecific with the Large-spotted Genet G. maculata (Coetzee 1977, Meester et al. 1986), but here considered distinct based on evidence provided by Crawford-Cabral (1980), Crawford-Cabral and Pacheco (1992), Schlawe (1981), Gaubert (2003) and Gaubert et al. (2005). See Wozencraft (2005) and Gaubert (2013) for further discussion.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Gaubert, P. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Hoffmann, M.
Cape Genet is listed as Least Concern because although the species is restricted to the southern Fringe of Africa, it appears to be common, there are no major threats, and it is present in several protected areas across its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cape Genet is endemic to South Africa and Lesotho, in higher rainfall areas from the Western Cape to southern KwaZulu-Natal, south of 32ºS, and to the neighbouring Lesotho border (Gaubert 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Lesotho; South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no precise information on their abundance, but they are not uncommon. In areas of sympatry with G. genetta, trapping success seems to indicate that G. tigrina may be 3–4 times less abundant than the former species (E. Do Linh San pers. obs. 2005–2010).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species mostly occurs in well-watered zones in wooded or dense habitats such as fynbos, forests and bushclumps in the Western and Eastern Cape, and pine plantations and urban areas in Kwa-Zulu Natal (Rowe-Rowe 1992, C. Widdows pers. comm. 2013). Sometimes it can be found in exotic scrub as well as open grasslands during foraging activities (Stuart 1981).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hides and tails are sometimes used to confection traditional Zulu clothing items. Pieces of genet skin may also be used as stick-fight charms, or to adorn hats, while parts of the body are used to treat ailments of eyes. Flesh consumption has been reported by Cunningham and Zondi (1991).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Cape Genets are sometimes killed by farmers in retaliation for predation on small domestic stock and poultry, which could have an effect on numbers in some areas (Stuart 1990). Urban Genets are sometimes killed by dogs and cats, deliberately poisoned or indirectly by the consumption of poisoned rodents, and are victims of collisions with motor vehicles (C. Widdows pers. comm. 2013). However, it is believed that these sources of mortality, in addition to the non-consumptive use of this species, do not currently threaten local populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: They are present in several protected areas throughout their range, such as Table Mountain, Garden Route, and Addo Elephant National Parks (, Great Fish River River Complex (E. Do Linh San pers. obs. 2010) and Dwesa–Cwebe Wildlife Reserve (Roberts et al. 2007). Animals from Hluhluwe-Imfolozi G. R. are Central African Large-spotted Genets G. maculata (P. Gaubert pers. obs. 2014).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

12. Other options -> 12.1. Other threat
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Coetzee, C.G. 1977. Order Carnivora. Part 8. In: J. Meester and H.W. Setzer (eds), The Mammals of Africa: An Identification Manual, pp. 1-42. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Crawford-Cabral, J. 1980. The classification of the genets (Carnivora, Viverridae, genus Genetta). Boletim da Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências Naturais 20: 97-114.

Crawford-Cabral, J. and Pacheco, A.P. 1992. Are the Large-spotted and the Rusty-spotted genets separate species (Carnivora, Viverridae, genus Genetta)? Garcia de Orta, Série de Zoologia, Lisboa 16: 7-17.

Cunningham, A.B. and Zondi, A.S. 1991. Use of animal parts for the commercial trade in traditional medicines. Institute of Natural Resources, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Gaubert, P. 2003a. Systématique et phylogénie du genre Genetta et des énigmatiques "genet-like taxa" Prionodon, Poiana et Osbornictis (Carnivora, Viverridae): caractérisation de la sous-famille des Viverrinae et étude des patrons de diversification au sein du continent africain. Ph.D. Thesis, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle.

Gaubert, P. 2003. Description of a new species of genet (Carnivora; Viverridae; genus Genetta) and taxonomic revision of forest forms related to the Large-spotted Genet complex. Mammalia 67: 85-108.

Gaubert, P. 2013. Genetta tigrina Cape Genet. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 247-249. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Gaubert, P., Taylor, P.J. and Veron, G. 2005. Integrative taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics of the genets (Carnivora, Viverridae, genus Genetta): a new classification of the most speciose carnivoran genus in Africa. In: B.A. Huber, B.J. Sinclair and K.-H. Lampe (eds), African Biodiversity: Molecules, Organisms, Ecosystems, pp. 371-383. Springer, New York, USA.

Gaubert, P., Taylor, P.J., Fernandes, C.A., Bruford, M.W. & Veron, G. 2005. Patterns of cryptic hybridization revealed using an integrative approach: a case study on genets (Carnivora, Viverridae, Genetta spp.) from the southern African subregion.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Meester, J.A.J., Rautenbach, I.L., Dippenaar, N.J. and Baker, C.M. 1986. Classification of Southern African Mammals. Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.

Schlawe, L. 1981. Material, Fundorte, Text- und Bildquellen als Grundlagen für eine Artenliste zur Revision der Gattung Genetta G. Cuvier, 1816. Zoologische Abhandlungen (Dresden) 37: 85-182.

Stuart, C.T. 1981. Notes on the mammalian carnivores of the Cape Province, South Africa. Bontebok 1: 1-58.

Stuart, C.T. 1990. The conservation status of mustelids and viverrids in Southern Africa. Small Carnivore Conservation 3: 16.

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: Gaubert, P. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Genetta tigrina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41702A45219459. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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