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Viverra tangalunga

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CARNIVORA VIVERRIDAE

Scientific Name: Viverra tangalunga
Species Authority: Gray, 1832
Common Name(s):
English Malay Civet, Malayan Civet, Oriental Civet
Taxonomic Notes: One subspecies has been proposed for the Langkawi Island civet (Malaysia) (Corbet and Hill 1992), but a systematic revision is needed to assess the status of the different island populations.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Azlan, M.J., Hon, J., Duckworth, J.W., Jennings, A. & Veron, G.
Reviewer(s): Belant, J. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern because it has a relatively wide distribution, appears to be tolerant of degraded habitats, and occurs in a number of protected areas. It has a presumed large population, however, little is known about population sizes across its range.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is known to occur in Peninsular Malaysia (Azlan, 2003; Kawanishi and Sunquist, 2004; Malaysia Carnivore Project, 2006; Laidlaw pers. comm.), Indonesia, Philippine islands (Heaney and Tabaranza 1991; Heaney et al. 1991) and Sulawesi (Buton island) (Jennings et al. 2006). In Indonesia, it is found in Borneo (Colon 2002), Sumatra, Rhio-Lingga Archipelago, Bawal Island, Bangka Island, Karimata Island, Sulawesi, Telok Pai, Amboina and the Moluccas (Meiri, 2005; Wozencraft, 2005). Two specimens have been recorded from Java (Meiri, 2005) but there is no evidence of a native population. In the Philippines: Bohol, Busuanga, Culion, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, Palawan, Samar and Sibuyan. It is also reported from Camiguin (Heaney and Tabaranza. 1991), Catanduanes (Heaney et al., 1991), Panay (Timm and Birney, 1980, Lastimosa pers. comm.) and Siguijor (Timm and Birney, 1980). In Malaysia, it is found in Borneo, Banggi Island, Langkawi Island, Penang Island and in Peninsular Malaysia (Corbet and Hill, 1992; Nor, 1996; Meiri, 2005). It was introduced to several islands in Southeast Asia (Jennings et al., 2006). The historical range of the species includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Singapore (Corbet and Hill, 1992; Nowak, 1999; Wozencraft, 2005). Although it is also listed from Cambodia, China and Thailand in Wozencraft (1993), there is no evidence it occurs in these countries.
Countries:
Native:
Indonesia (Kalimantan, Maluku - Introduced, Sulawesi, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Philippines; Singapore
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although the Malay civet is a widespread species, little is still known about its population levels in countries where it is native or has been introduced. Colon (2002) found lower population densities in logged forest than in unlogged forest, and suggested that this may be because of lower fruit availability in logged forest. The species is widespread in Asia and is moderately common in forest and rare in other habitats.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Malay civet occurs in a variety of habitats including primary and secondary forests, cultivated land and the outskirts of villages (Nowak, 1999; Colon, 2002; Jennings et al., 2006). It is found from sea level to at least 1,200 m (Rabor, 1955; Payne et al., 1985; Rickart et al., 1993; Heaney et al., in press). Malay civets are solitary, omnivorous and primarily terrestrial (Kanchanasakha et al., 1998). A wide range of home-ranges for Malay civets has now been documented on Sulawesi (24 – 189 ha) and Borneo (27 – 283 ha) (MacDonald and Wise, 1979; Nozaki et al., 1994; Colon, 2002; Jennings et al., 2006). Mean home-range size for adults of both sexes was 110 ha in Sabah and 70 ha on Sulawesi (Colon, 2002; Jennings et al., 2006). Colon (2002) considered that the Malay civet was not territorial in Sabah but Jennings et al. (2006) found low intra-sexual overlap on Buton Island. Malay civets are mainly nocturnal (Colon, 2002; Jennings et al., 2006). Day rest sites are situated at ground level and associated with some form of cover (Colon, 2002; Jennings et al., 2006).

Malay civets are solitary, omnivorous, and primarily terrestrial (Kanchanasakha et al. 1998). A wide range of home-ranges for Malay civets have now been documented on Buton Island, Sulawesi (24– 89 ha) and Borneo (27–283 ha) (MacDonald and Wise 1979; Nozaki et al. 1994; Colon 2002; Jennings et al. 2006). Mean home-range size for adults of both sexes was 110 ha in Sabah, East Malaysia and 70 ha on Buton Island, Sulawesi (Colon 2002; Jennings et al. 2006). Colon (2002) considered that the Malay civet was not territorial in East Malaysia but Jennings et al.(2006) found low intra-sexual overlap on Buton Island. Malay civets are most active at night from 18h00 to 07h00, although Malay civets were more active during the day on Buton Island, Sulawesi than in Sabah, East Malaysia (Colon 2002; Jennings et al. 2006). Day rest sites are situated at ground level and associated with some form of cover such as logs, dense brush pile, or thick herbaceous vegetation (Colon 2002; Jennings et al. 2006).

The species’ habitat is primary and secondary lowland, montane, and mossy forest from sea level to at least 1,200 m asl (Rabor 1955, Rickart et al. 1993, Heaney et al. in press). It is also found also in agricultural areas and near human settlements in the proximity of forest (Wemmer and Watling, 1986; Nowak, 1999). In a study on home range behaviour of this species on Buton Island, Jennings et al. (2006) found a home range size of 70 ha, with smaller home ranges for females as compared to those found in logged forest on Borneo. It is an adaptable species that seems to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions, including disturbed areas (Jennings et al. 2006). This species was recorded in primary lowland rainforest in Tawau Hills National Park in Borneo by Wells et al. (2005). All Bornean civets (except Diplogale hosei) have been recorded in disturbed forest areas, though abundance declines in this habitat (Heydon and Bulloh, 1996; Colon, 2002; pers. comm.). It was recorded in secondary forest, that was logged in the 1970s, and which surrounds a palm estate, in Malaysia in 2000-01 by Azlan (2003). This species is ground-living (Medway, 1978) and predominantly crepuscular (Azlan and Gulan Azad, 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): As a ground-living species it is exposed to snaring and other forms of ground-level trapping, and hunting with dogs, however, the limited survey in areas heavily used by people suggests it is rather well able to persist at general levels of threat. The species is occasionally hunted for food and treated as a pest as it raids poultry.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Malay civets are found in a number of protected areas throughout its range. This species is protected in Malaysia under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 (WPA, 1972). Field surveys, ecological studies, habitat protection and monitoring of threats are needed.

The species is found in a number of protected areas throughout its range. This species was recorded from Tawau Hills National Park in Borneo in 2003-04 (Wells et al. 2005). This species was recorded from Jerangau Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia in 2000-01 (Azlan, 2003). This species is partially protected in Malaysia under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 (WPA 1972), meaning that anyone found killing this species will be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit (Approx. USD 790) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both (Azlan, 2003). However, Section 55 of this Act allows farmer to shoot any wild animal that causes damage to their property, as long as reasonable efforts have been made to frighten the animal away, and many civets are conisdered a pest in Peninsular Malaysia, as the prey on small livestock and raid fruit orchards (Azlan, 2003).

Bibliography [top]

Azlan, J. M. 2003. The diversity and conservation of mustelids, viverrids, and herpestids in a disturbed forest in Peninsular Malaysia. Small Carnivore Conservation 29: 8-9.

Colon, C. P. 2002. Ranging behaviour and activity of the Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga) in a logged and an unlogged forest in Danum Valley, East Malaysia. Journal of Zoology (London) 257: 473-485.

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

Jennings, A. P., Seymour, A. S. and Dunstone, N. 2006. Ranging behaviour, spatial organization and activity of the Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga) on Buton Island, Sulawesi. Journal of Zoology (London) 268: 63-71.

Kanchanasakha, B., Simcharoen, S. and Tin Than, U. 1998. Carnivores of Mainland South-East Asia. Endangered Species Unit, WWF-Thailand Project Office, Thailand.

Langham, N. 1977. A short introduction and field guide to the common mammals of Penang Island (translated in Malay by Ho Sinn-Chye). University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

Nor, S. M. 1996. The mammalian fauna on the islands at the northern tip of Sabah, Borneo. Fieldiana: Zoology 83: 1-51.

Payne, J.C.M., Francis, C.M. and Phillipps, K. 1985. A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Rabor, D. S. 1955. Notes on mammals and birds of the central northern Luzon highlands, Philippines. Part 1. Silliman Journal 2: 193-218.

Timm, R. M. and Birney, E. C. 1980. Mammals collected by the Menage Scientific Expedition to the Philippine Islands and Borneo, 1890-1893. Journal of Mammalogy 61: 566-571.

Wozencraft, W. C. 1993. Order Carnivora. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Second Edition., pp. 279-344. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

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: Azlan, M.J., Hon, J., Duckworth, J.W., Jennings, A. & Veron, G. 2008. Viverra tangalunga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 December 2014.
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