ASIAN PALM CIVET
Scientific name: Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus
The Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), also called toddy cat, is a small member of the family Viverridae native to South and Southeast Asia. They normally inhabit primary forests, but also occur at lower densities in secondary and selectively logged forest.
The Asian palm civet is a small, mottled gray and black weighing
2 to 5 kg. It has a body length of about 53 cm (21 in) with a 48 cm (19 in) long tail. Its long, stocky body is covered with coarse, shaggy hair that is usually grayish in colour. There is a white mask across the forehead, a small white patch under each eye, a white spot on each side of the nostrils, and a narrow dark line between the eyes. The muzzle, ears, lower legs, and distal half of the tail are black, with three rows of black markings on the body. The tail is without rings, unlike in similar civet species. Anal scent glands emit a nauseating secretion as a chemical defence when threatened or upset.
The Asian palm civet is solitary animal that only comes out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. These nocturnal animals are primarily ground-dwelling and highly terrestrial as they mark their ranges by dragging their anal glands along the ground.
The Asian palm civet is a carnivorous animal, and like other species of civet, it survives on a meat-based diet, supplemented by the odd plant or fruit. Small animals such as rodents,lizards, snakes and frogs make up the majority of the Asian palm civet’s diet, along within sects and other small creatures scuttling through the under-growth. Asian palm civets are also known to eat the fruits and flowers of palms, mangoes and coffee in their natural habitats.
The female Asian palm civet usually gives birth to up to 4 young after a gestation period that lasts for a couple of months. The babies are weaned by their mother until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. Asian palm civets can live for up to 20 years, although most rarely get to be this old.
Today, the Asian palm civet is under threat from deforestation and therefore drastic loss of much of its natural habitat. The main reason for such extensive deforestation in the area is either for logging or to clear the land to make way for palm oil plantations.