Genetta genetta


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Genetta genetta
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Common Genet, Ibiza Genet, Ibiza Common Genet
French Genette Commune
Spanish Gineta, Gineta
Taxonomic Notes: There is a high degree of intraspecific variation in this species, which has resulted in many described subspecies; the validity of many of these is unknown, while others may actually represent distinct species (Gaubert et al. 2004, 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Herrero, J. & Cavallini, P.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as they have a wide distribution on the African continent and extralimitally, have a very broad habitat tolerance, and are present in numerous protected areas.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Widespread species, occurring on the northern Saharan fringe (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lybia), and then in open and dry savanna zones throughout sub-Saharan Africa in three large blocks, corresponding roughly to West Africa, East Africa and southern Africa (Delibes and Gaubert in press). Also occurs in coastal regions of Arabia, Yemen and Oman (Harrison and Bates 1991); records from Palestine are in error (Kock 1983).

For Europe, Delibes (1999) lists this species as occurring in all of continental Portugal and Spain, and most of France (mainly south of Loire River and west of the Rhone River). It is also found on the Mediterranean islands of Majora, Ibiza, and Cabrera (Balearic Islands) (Delibes 1999). There are also scattered records from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and north-west Italy (Delibes 1999). This species is generally considered to have been introduced to Europe and the Balearic islands (Delibes 1999). It has been recorded to 2,600 m in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco (Cuzin 2003) and at least 3,000 m asl in the Ethiopian Highlands (Admasu et al. 2004)
Algeria; Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Lesotho; Libya; Mali; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tunisia; Uganda; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Belgium; France; Germany; Italy; Portugal; Spain; Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: One of the most common small carnivores in its native range, though detailed data on density in Africa are scarce; in Serengeti, Waser (1980) estimated a density of 1.5 + 0.37 individuals per km². In Europe, this species is moderately abundant, with increasing populations in France, and densities of 0.3 to 0.7 individuals per square kilometer in Spain (Delibes 1999). The genet is common in suitable habitat throughout the Iberian peninsula (Palomo and Gisbert 2002), where populations are either stable or slowly increasing (J. Herrero pers. comm.). On Ibiza, habitat is declining and becoming more fragmented, thus this species is suspected to be declining.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Common Genet tends to prefer all types of wooded habitats (deciduous and evergreen), where it is often associated with rivers and brooks, but it is a generalist and can be found in other habitats where there is suitable prey. It avoids open habitats, but may occur even in small fragments of woodland in farmland or near villages, and usually is absent from rainforests, dense woodlands and woodland-moist savanna mosaics (e.g., miombo woodland in Angola) (Delibes and Gaubert in press). The Common Genet is not uncommonly found in proximity to people and human buildings (e.g., Admasu et al. 2004). It feeds mainly on small mammals, but will also take birds, other small vertebrates, insects, and fruit (Delibes and Gaubert in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats. They are occasionally eaten by people in some localities, and body parts are used for medicinal purposes while skins may be used for the manufacture of karosses in southern Africa (Delibes and Gaubert in press); in North Africa too the species is hunted for its fur for decorative purposes (Cuzin 2003). In Europe, the genet used to be trapped for its fur (Delibes 1999). In Portugal genets are illegally killed in predator trapping for hunting management. On Ibiza, the genet is threatened by the loss and fragmentation of habitat caused by urbanization and infrastructure and tourism development. The ability of genets to live close to humans and their domestic animals could have implications for disease transmission (Admasu et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in many protected areas across its range. This species is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention, as well as EU Habitats and Species Directive, Annex V (Delibes 1999). Protected by national law in some range states (e.g. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia).

Citation: Herrero, J. & Cavallini, P. 2008. Genetta genetta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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