Mydaus marchei 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mephitidae

Scientific Name: Mydaus marchei
Species Authority: (Huet, 1887)
Common Name(s):
English Palawan Stink-badger, Palawan Stink Badger
Mydaus schadenbergii
Suillotaxus marchei
Taxonomic Notes: For long Mydaus was classified as a genus of Mustelidae. It in fact constitutes the only Old-world genus of the skunk family (Mepihitidae; Dragoo and Honeycutt 1997). Corbet and Hill (1992) queried whether M. marchei is distinct enough to warrant species-level separation from Sunda Stink-badger M. javanensis of elsewhere on the Sunda shelf.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-12-29
Assessor(s): Widmann, P.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Esselstyn, J.A., Rueda-Solano, L. & Tabaranza, B.
This species is listed as Least Concern reflecting its high tolerance to deforestation and human presence. Although its extent of occurrence (EOO) is within the threshold for Vulnerable (under 20,000 km2) under criterion B1, it is implausible that there are extreme fluctuations in any of extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of locations or subpopulations, or number of mature individuals. Nor is its distribution severely fragmented or restricted to fewer than 10 locations. While it might be in shallow decline, this is insufficient to allow listing as even Near Threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Palawan Stink-badger is endemic to the Palawan island group, situated between Borneo and the Philippines and part of the latter country (Widmann and Widmann 2004). It inhabits Palawan Island, Busuanga and Calauit, but is found neither on the smaller outlying coral islands such as Rasa and Malinau, nor on the larger land-bridge island of Dumaran (Widmann and Widmann 2004). Corbet and Hill (1992) listed the species as occurring on Iloc island, although no primary source is given. It occurs up to at least 300 m asl; its occurrence at higher altitudes has not been assessed, at least by 2004 (Widmann and Widmann 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 10000
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 14000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species, although geographically restricted, was reported to thrive in cultivated areas (Grimwood 1976) and to be locally moderately common to uncommon in secondary and primary lowland forest (Heaney et al. 1998). Since then, it has been reported to be widespread and common in forest, secondary growth and low-intensity agricultural areas on Palawan Island (Kruuk 2000, Esselstyn et al. 2004, Widmann and Widmann 2004). It is common in the lowlands, up to at least 300 m asl (Widmann and Widmann 2004).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: No
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Palawan Stink-badger is found in primary and secondary lowland forests and in disturbed habitat including mixed grassland, low-intensity agriculture and urban areas, and has been recorded from the landward edge of mangroves (Hoogstraal 1951, Grimwood 1976, Rabor 1986, Heaney et al. 1998, Widmann and Widmann 2004). Dogs and cats do not seem to bother this species due to its potential to excrete a nauseating chemical from its anal glands (Widmann and Widmann 2004). The diet comprises largely worms and soil arthropods, so this species is perhaps more common in areas with soft soil for foraging; grasslands typically have extensive root systems which make digging difficult, and it is seen along small streams during the dry season (Widmann and Widmann 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No
Generation Length (years): 7.8

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Some of the ethnic Pala'wan hunt Palawan Stink-badger with dogs and remove the anal glands, to allow domestic consumption. There is a very limited pet trade, catering to mostly private collections within the Philippines (P. Widmann pers. comm. 2014). No other use is known, or is likely given the pungent stench.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Palawan Stink-badger is rarely hunted reflecting its ability to excrete a pungent smell when attacked; for this reason, most domestic dogs and cats give it a wide berth (Widmann and Widmann 2004). Some hunting by ethnic Pala'wan occurs, but not at levels threatening to the population. Although it probably has not suffered from conversion of primary forest to secondary forest or even to shrubland, intensification of grassland or permanent agriculture might perhaps pose a threat to this species perhaps particular where hedges and other uncultivated strips are lost (Widmann and Widmann 2004). Ongoing development of large-scale plantations (oil palm, rubber) on Palawan may increasingly cause habitat loss (P. Widmann pers. comm. 2014). Many are killed on roads by motor vehicles (Widmann and Widmann 2004) and numbers killed were apparently increasing in recent years because of expansion of the all-weather road network and increasing night-time traffic (P. Widmann pers. comm. 2014). The effects of road mortality remain uninvestigated. It is not known if diseases from domestic animals affect it (Widmann and Widmann 2004)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: As an endemic of Palawan, thisspecies is protected at the provincial level. No specific conservation measures seem to be in place, but there is no obvious need for any. This species inhabits at least one protected area, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (P. Widmann pers. comm. 2014).

Citation: Widmann, P. 2015. Mydaus marchei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T14055A45201420. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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