Genetta cristata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

Scientific Name: Genetta cristata
Species Authority: Hayman in Sanborn, 1940
Common Name(s):
English Crested Genet, Crested Servaline Genet
French Genette servaline à crête
Taxonomic Notes: Genetta cristata was originally described as a subspecies of the Servaline Genet G. servalina, but it is here considered a distinct species following Rosevear (1974), Crawford-Cabral (1980), Van Rompaey and Colyn (1998) and the studies of Gaubert et al. (2004, 2005, 2006). See Wozencraft (2005) and Van Rompaey and Colyn (2013) for further discussion.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Gaubert, P., Angelici, F.M. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Crested Genet is listed as Vulnerable based on a total population containing ca. 7,000 mature individuals (roughly estimated based on a range area of ca 100,000 km², an average population density highly unlikely to exceed one individual/10 km², and a proportion of mature individuals of 67%) and the likelihood that the species underwent a population decline of at least 10% over the last 12 years (assuming a generation length of four years) because of habitat loss coupled with the impacts of hunting in its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Crested Genet has mostly been recorded in Nigeria and Cameroon. It has been recorded as ranging from the Niger River eastwards to the Sanaga River, but there are also records of the species from west of the Niger Delta (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013). The region between the Niger Delta and the Cross River is heavily populated and a mosaic of forest patches and cultivated land, but recent records do exist: for example, one was bought at the roadside near Azumini (Angelici and Luiselli 2005). Gaubert et al. (2006) give records that show this species ranging more than 500 km south of the Sanaga River to southern Cameroon, Gabon and Republic of Congo, as well as 180 km west of the known range in Nigeria between Oni and Epe (but these are not mapped). The species ranges from sea level to more than 1,000 m a.s.l.
Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Nigeria
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the Niger Delta area the Crested Genet seems to be common where it occurs, but there is no information on its abundance east of the Cross River (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 7000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: Unknown Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: Unknown All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits scrub, low tangled vegetation, and bare ground below trees in tall deciduous forest. Occasionally, it is also present in secondary and montane forest (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013). In Nigeria, Angelici and Luiselli (2005) found that the presence of this species was statistically correlated with the presence of primary dry forest and bush–mango plantations inside the forest, and to a lesser extent secondary dry forest, and primary flooded forest but negatively influenced by the presence of suburban areas, pineapple plantations, bushlands, and oil-palm plantations.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted and used as bushmeat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss is probably a major threat to this species, since the Cross River State forests are rapidly being converted into farms or wastelands and the Niger Delta is exploited as an oil-production area. The species is also believed to suffer from high hunting pressure (Van Rompaey and Colyn 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known whether this species occurs in any protected areas, but it may occur in the Cross River National Park There is no protected area in the Niger Delta.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability: Marginal  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.1. Oil & gas drilling
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Angelici, F.M. and Luiselli, L. 2005. Habitat associations and dietary relationships between two genets, Genetta maculata and Genetta cristata. Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et la Vie) 60: 341-354.

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

Gaubert, P. and Cordeiro-Estrela, P. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics and tempo of evolution of the Viverrinae (Mammalia, Carnivora, Viverridae) within feliformians: Implications for faunal exchanges between Asia and Africa. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 41: 266-278.

Gaubert, P., Fernandes, C.A., Bruford, M.W. and Veron, G. 2004. Genets (Carnivora, Viverridae) in Africa: an evolutionary synthesis based on cytochrome b sequences and morphological characters. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 81: 589-610.

Gaubert, P., Papes, M. and Peterson, A.T. 2006. Natural history collections and the conservation of poorly known taxa: Ecological niche modeling in central African rainforest genets (Genetta spp.). Biological Conservation 130: 106-117.

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.

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

Rosevear, D.R. 1974. The Carnivores of West Africa. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Van Rompaey, H. and Colyn, M. 1998. A new Servaline Genet (Carnivora, Viverridae) from Zanzibar Island. South African Journal of Zoology 33: 42-46.

Van Rompaey, H. and Colyn, M. 2013. Genetta cristata Crested Genet. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 222-224. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

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., Angelici, F.M. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Genetta cristata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T8998A45198406. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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