Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Sunda Stink-badger is found on Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sumatra and the Natuna Islands in Indonesia, and in Sabah and Sarawak in Bornean Malaysia. So far there are no confirmed records from Brunei, but parts of the country are predicted to contain habitatsuitablefor the species (Samejimaet al. inprep.). On Borneo it is among the most frequently recorded carnivore species in most camera-trapping studies in the Malaysian State of Sabah (Borneo Carnivore Symposium; Samejimaet al. inprep.). It is found from the lowlands in central and eastern Sabah (e.g. Kinabatangan) up to the highlands in western Sabah (e.g. Crocker Range National Park, A. J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014). In Sarawak nearly all the rather few records are from the northeastern part (Limbang and North Miri division); records south of Miri division are very few, and local people often seem unfamiliar with the species (Giman and Jukie 2012, Samejimaet al. inprep.). But in 2012, two animals were killed in the Serian district, southwest Sarawak (Samejimaet al. inprep.). In Kalimantan this species seems to have been recordedrecentlyonly in north and east Kalimantan (e.g., Rustam and Giordano 2014), but it was also at least locally common in south, central and west Kalimantan in the beginning of the 20th century (e.g., Lyon 1911). In west Kalimantan a specimen was collected at the Melawi river near Sintang (Medway 1977) and the recently interviewed local people from this area were familiar with this species (Samejimaet al. inprep.).In Java all known recent records are from west Java, but van Balen (1914) recorded it from the Dieng Plateau in central Java and there are further records from Mt Ardjuna and the Tenger Mountains in east Java (Horsfield 1824, Hassan 1892). In west Java it seems to be common in the remaining forests, with recent records from various sites including Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Gunung Halimun Salak NP, Gunung Ciremai NP and Gunung Malabar Protected Forest (A. Ario pers. comm. 2014) at elevations from the lowlands up to 2,000 m asl; its status in non-forest areas is unclear.In Sumatra it has recently been recorded in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park between 600 and 1,100 m asl (J. McCarthy pers. comm. 2014) in the south of the island, up to Aceh (between 870 and 1,740 m asl) in the north (M. Linkie pers. comm. 2014). Further recent records come from Kerinci Seblat NP (Holden 2006, M. Linkie pers. comm. 2014) and the Bukit Tigapuluh Landscape (P.H. Pratje and A.M. Mobrucker pers. comm. 2014).
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Mydaus javanensis has a limited, isolated distribution on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and North Natuna Islands (Nowak 1997; Long and Killingley 1983).

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Physical Description

Morphology

Mydaus javanensis are classified as true badgers. They were once classifed with the skunks because of their black and white coloration and strong scent glands, but the accesory cusp on the inner projection of the upper fourth premolar and the large front digging feet places M. javanensis with Meles and Taxidea.

Coloration of M. javanensis varies from dark black to blackish brown. All have a white patch on the top of the head. A white mid-dorsal stripe extends from the patch on the head and is either interrupted or extends posteriorly down the spine to the tail. Fur is sparse on the belly. Hair on the neck stands nearly erect. Their eyes are small and the pinna (or ear flap) are vestigial.

The body of M. javanensis is small, squat, heavy, and nearly plantigrade. They have a long, pointed, mobile snout, short, muscular legs, long, strong recurved claws on the front feet, and a short tail. The musculature forms a web that extends to the base of the foreclaws. The toes are bound together as far as the base of the claws. Their nose to tailbase ranges from 370 to 510mm and their tail length ranges from 50 to 75mm. All M. javanensis have a well-developed anal scent gland.

The cheek teeth have low, rounded cusps with circular formed crowns (Nowak 1997; Long and Killingley 1983).

Range mass: 1.4 to 3.6 kg.

Range length: 370 to 510 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Over its range,Sunda Stink-badgeris found in primary and secondary forests and open grounds such as gardens adjacent to forests (Payne et al. 1985, Holden 2006). In Sabah it is found in both primary and disturbed forests and from the periphery out to a least four kilometres from the forest edge of oil-palm plantations. It is unknown how far it is able to venture into the plantation landscape. In Sarawak it has been recorded in a pepper garden (Samejimaet al. inprep.). It is quite clear that it is not dependent upon primary forest. Camera-trapping at salt-licks in Sabah found it to be a common visitor (Matsubayashi et al. 2006).

This species feeds on birds'eggs, carrion, insects, worms and plants (Long and Killingley 1983, Neal and Cheeseman 1996, Payneet al.1985). Litter size is usually two to three (Wood 1865). It is nocturnal, sheltering in underground burrows during the day (Hwang and Larivire 2003).

It is currently unknown why the species has such a patchy distribution, especially on Borneo. The species' pattern of occurrence might be linked to earthworm density, soil characters, level of (perhaps mostly past) hunting and/or other factors.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Mydaus javanensis are montane and are seldom found on the plains. They are found often above 7,000 ft. in elevation, but may occur below 4,000 ft. and even as low as 850 ft. in West Java. Most M. javanensis inhabit shallow burrows underground. However, in Borneo they inhabit caves at high elevations (Long and Killingley 1983).

Range elevation: 250 (low) m.

Average elevation: 2100 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; mountains

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Trophic Strategy

Mydaus javanensis uses its strong forelimbs, long claws, and 'pig-like' snout to root through soils and feed. At night, these animals forage for insects and worms. They feed mainly on invertebrates and plant material (Nowak 1997; Long and Killingley 1983).

Foods eaten include: worms, especially earth worms, insects, insect grubs, bird eggs, carrion and plant material.

Animal Foods: eggs; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; terrestrial worms

Plant Foods: fruit

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Vermivore)

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Associations

When endangered, M. javanensis uses its well-developed scent gland. It will raise its tail and then emit a pungent, foul, milky green secretion. The secretion can be ejected with some accuracy. The secretion is nauseating and damaging when it comes in contact with the predator. Humans have fainted from the stench. Dogs have been asphyxiated by the fluid or even blinded when struck in the eye. Mydaus javanensis is quite fierce and growls and bites when handled.

It is a slow mover and can only run away at a trot (about the speed of a human's walk) for about 100 meters (Jackson 2001; Nowak 1997; Long and Killingley 1983).

Known Predators:

  • Javan hawk-eagles (Spizaetus bartelsi)
  • civets (Viverridae)
  • tigers (Panthera tigris)

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Reproduction

Females have six teats-four pectoral and two inguinal. They are estimated to give birth to two or three offspring per litter. The litter is brought up in the underground burrows (Jackson 2001; Long and Killingley 1983).

Average number of offspring: 2-3.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2015

Assessor/s
Wilting, A., Duckworth, J.W., Meijaard, E., Ross, J., Hearn, A. & Ario, A.

Reviewer/s
Schipper, J.

Contributor/s
McCarthy, J., Linkie, M., Long, B., Azlan M.J., M. & Hon, J.

Justification
Sunda Stink-badger is listed as Least Concern because it is unlikely to meet any of the Red List criteria at levelssufficient for even Near Threatened.It has a large distributional range, occurring on Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the Natuna Islands. It is comparatively frequently camera-trapped over substantial areas of the three major islands, from the lowlands up to 2,000 m asl. On Borneo it seems now to be largely restricted to the northeast, although historically it was recorded from other regions in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo; see Samejimaet al. inprep.). The reasons for the lack of recent records from large parts of Kalimantan are unknown (see Samejimaet al. inprep.). However, any potential declines in these areas most probably occurred some decades ago, and not within the last 14 years (or three generations; Pacifici et al. 2013). Records from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, indicate that this species uses disturbed forests (its occupancy being higher in more disturbed forests than in sustainably managed forests; Sollmann et al. in prep.) and palm oil plantations (A.J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014). This species evidently tolerates, perhaps even benefits from, some forms of habitat disturbance (Samejimaet al. in prep.). Thus it is unlikely that it is experiencing major declines from the ongoing deforestation in the region. There is no evidence of its being recently targeted for food or medicine at levelssufficientto drive population declines at a pace to come near to even Near Threatened. Historical accounts, however, indicate that in the Indonesian part of Borneo, the species was frequently sought for food (see Samejimaet al. inprep.), and hunting might have been one of the factors contributing to historical declines

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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Indonesian law has protected M. javanensis since 1979. Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park (15,000 ha.) in Java and Danau Sentarum National Park (80,000 ha.) in West Kalimantan, Borneo are two protected park areas where M. javanensis are found (Jackson 2001).

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
This species occurs in a wide range of vegetation types, including - at least in Sabah, Malaysia - very disturbed areas and plantations. So the population is likely to be relatively unaffected by the large-scale forest conversion in its range. It is currently unknown why this species was reported as common in various parts of Kalimantan in the early 20th century, yet current records from these areas are lacking. For example, in the 1930s, this species was considered to have a very wide distribution range, including all wet and dry forests of the area discussed here [southern andsoutheastern Borneo]. The density however is low. In eastern Borneo its occurrence was reportedonlyfrom the area north of Samarinda, and in southern Borneo from only nine locations, which were dispersed and far from each other (Nederlandsch-Indische Vereeniging tot Natuurbescherming 1939). Its distribution seems to be patchy (Payne et al. 1985). It is conceivable that local extinctions have occurred, perhapsthrough hunting. The overall population of the species is plausibly rather stable, given its high adaptability to changing habitats, at least over the time frame of three generations.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Habitat loss is unlikely to be a significant threat toSunda Stink-badger, and at least in parts of its range the widespread degradation and fragmentation of forest might be benefiting it, as might conversion of old-growth forest to some other uses. The threat posed by hunting is difficult to assess. It might, perhaps, have led to past declines and local extirpations, but the lack of a large commercial demand for it today and its persistence in many areas close to people suggests that hunting is not presently a threat.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Sunda Stink-badgerhas been recorded in various protected areas in Borneo (particularly the northern half), Sumatra and Java, and is likely to occur in many more. It is not protected in Sarawak, but it is protected in Sabah (Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1998) and in Indonesia (PP RI No. 7, 1999).With no threats identified or suggested, a continued wide distribution and high frequency of records, there are no obvious conservation needs for this species. Continued coarse monitoring of its status might be useful.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

As they turn up soil to forage for insects and worms, M. javanensis often uproot freshly planted seeds on agricultural lands. The roots of crop plants may also be eaten, which damages sprouting plants (Long and Killingley 1983).

Negative Impacts: crop pest

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In the past, natives of the island diluted the fluid from the scent gland to manufacture perfumes for their Javanese sultans.

Some islanders will hunt and kill M. javanensis, immediately remove the scent glands and eat the meat.

Drink mixtures of the skin shavings and water have also been made as traditional 'cures' for fever or rheumatism (Jackson 2001; Long and Killingley 1983).

Positive Impacts: food ; source of medicine or drug

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Wikipedia

Sunda stink badger

The Sunda stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), also called the Javan stink badger, teledu, Malay stink badger and Indonesian stink badger, is a mammal native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite the common name, they are not closely related to true badger, and are, instead, Old World relatives of the skunks.[2]

Description[edit]

Sunda stink badgers have a similar body shape to badgers, but are significantly smaller, being 37 to 52 cm (15 to 20 in) in total length, and weighing from 1.3 to 3.6 kg (2.9 to 7.9 lb). Their fur is coarse, and black or very dark brown over most of the body, with a white stripe running from the top of the head to the tail. The tail is short, measuring about 3.6 cm (1.4 in), and is covered in pure white fur. The width of the stripe varies considerably between individuals, but is usually narrow, and may be discontinuous. As the name indicates, stink badgers have an anal scent gland that secretes a foul-smelling substance, which the animal can spray up to 15 cm (5.9 in). Females have six teats.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Sunda stink badgers are found in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the northern Natuna Islands. They typically inhabit forest edges or areas of secondary forest, often at elevations of over 2,000 m (6,600 ft), and only rarely on lowland plains. However, they have been reported as low as 250 m (820 ft) above sea level on Java, and also at relatively low elevations in Sarawak. Three subspecies are recognised:[3]

  • M. j. javanensis - Java and mainland Sumatra
  • M. j. lucifer - Borneo
  • M. j. ollula - Natuna Islands

Behaviour and biology[edit]

Sunda stink badgers are omnivorous and nocturnal. The animal portion of their diet consists of invertebrates, eggs, and carrion. At night, they root through soft soil using their snout and claws, searching for worms and ground-dwelling insects. During the day, they sleep in short burrows, less than 60 cm (24 in) in length, which they may either dig themselves or take over from other animals, such as porcupines. They have been reported to give birth to litters of two or three young.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Long, B., Hon, J., Azlan J. & Duckworth, J. W. (2008). Mydaus javanensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ Dragoo, J. W.; Honeycutt, R. L. (1997). "Systematics of mustelid-like carnivores". Journal of Mammalogy 78 (2): 426–443. doi:10.2307/1382896. 
  3. ^ a b c Hwang, Y. T.; Larivière, S. (2003). "Mydaus javanensis". Mammalian Species (723): 1–3. doi:10.1644/723. 
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