Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Sulawesi Civet is endemic to Sulawesi. It was previously known only from the north and central parts of the island (Wemmer and Watling 1986), but it is now known to occur also in the island's south-east: individuals were camera-trapped at Rawa Aopa National Park, Tanjung Peropa Wildlife Reserve and Mangolo Recreation Forest (Lee et al. 2003). There are no certain records from islands other than mainland Sulawesi, but a sighting potentially of this species on Kadiriri Island (Brugiere 2012, D. Brugiere pers. comm. 2015) indicates that it might also occur on the Togian archipelago; these islands do support other highly distinct mammals endemic to Sulawesi and adjacent islands, such as babirousasBabyrousa and black macaques Macaca. Similarly, many of the people living around the forest on Buton Island, off south-east Sulawesi, have a name for a second species of civet (additional to Malay Civet Viverra tangalunga) matching the description of the Sulawesi endemic (Seymour et al. 2010). Sulawesi Civet has not, however, been found in two years of camera-trapping on the island(3,0004,000 camera-trap-nights over 100900 m a.s.l.; J. Brodie in litt. 2015), and there is no even provisional sighting in over 20 years of multi-disciplinary biological fieldwork on the island (including investigations of the animals kept in homes and traded in markets; T. Martinpers. comm. 2015, N. Priston pers. comm. 2015, H. Hilser pers. comm. 2015). These remarks should be seen in the context of how this species has previously been overlooked; for example, the capable collector H.C. Raven collected intensively in 19151918 without finding the species, including much effort in what is now Lore Lindu National Park, an area in which the species was found to be "common" 60 years later (Wemmer and Watling 1986); it is unlikely to have colonised during the interim. Even villagers living close tothe speciesare often not specifically aware of its existence (Wemmer and Watling 1986). Thus, lack of village familiarity should not be seen as an indication that it is not in any given area.

Skeletal remains in the Bola Batoe and Tjadang caves in south-west Sulawesi indicate a former wider distribution (Hooijer 1950); it should not be excluded that the species awaits rediscovery in that part of the island.

Sulawesi Civet is known tooccur from sea-level up to 2,600 m (Wemmer and Watling 1986).
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Sulawesi palm civets are found only on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Verified range on the island includes the end of the Minahassa peninsula, the east peninsula, the southeast peninsula, and a small section of central Sulawesi. Few sighting or specimens have been recorded from central and southern Sulawesi.

Two other species of civets occur within Sulawesi palm civet range. Both the common palm civet and the Malay civet have been introduced to Sulawesi.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Physical Description

Morphology

Sulawesi civets posses a soft, short, fine coat with brown coloration on the back and yellow brown coloration on the under parts. The breast may have a reddish tint. Vague darker spots are arranged along the back in two vertical rows on either side of the spine. Between seven and eleven light yellowish tail rings can also be present, but may be incomplete or irregularly spaced. The tip of the tail is darker. The face is brown with paler zones of hair around the eyes, in the ears, and along the upper lip.

Very few living specimens have been measured. The data presented here are based on two female specimens and one male. Body lengths for these females were 650 mm plus a 480 mm tail and 680 mm with a broken tail 445 mm long. Male body length was 715 mm with a 540 mm tail. Despite having a common name of “giant civet,” they are not unusually large for a civet, being similar in size to masked palm civets. They are, however, the largest wild carnivore on Sulawesi Females have a perineal scent gland behind their genetalia, but males seem to lack a perineal scent gland. The female gland characteristics are similar to those of masked palm civet. The only other taxa of palm civets in which males lack a scent gland is the genus Arctogalidia. Upper and lower cheek teeth run parallel rather than diverging towards the back.

Molecular evidence shows that Sulawesi civets are actually in the subfamily Hemigalinae instead of Paradoxurinae where they have been historically grouped. Its morphological similarities to the Paradoxurines are due to convergence. This puts Sulawesi civets closest relative as the otter civet.

Range mass: 3.85 to 6.1 kg.

Range length: 1130 to 1255 mm.

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

  • Lydekker, R. 1896. A Hand-book to the Carnivora, Part I. Cats, Civets, and Mungooses. London: Edward Lloyd, Limited.
  • Wemmer, C., J. West, D. Watling, L. Collins, K. Lang. 1983. External Characters of the Sulawesi Palm Civet, Macrogalidia musschenbroekii Schlegel 1879. Journal of Mammology, 64/1: 133-136. Accessed October 08, 2012 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1380759.
  • Wilting, A., J. Fickel. 2012. Phylogenetic relationship of two threatened endemic viverrids from the Sunda Islands, Hose's civet and the Sulawesi civet. Journal of Zoology, 288/3: 184-190. Accessed December 08, 2012 at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00939.x/pdf.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The ecology of Sulawesi Civet is known mostly from one study in Lore Lindu. Information from elsewhere is insufficient to tell whether its natural history varies across the island. It has been recorded in lowland forest, lower and upper montane forest, grasslands and near farms (Wemmer and Watling 1986, Musser and Dagosto 1987, Lee et al. 2003), and indeed Lee et al. (2003) stated that this civet is not a specialist, neither restricted by elevation nor disturbance regime. While it clearly uses a wide elevation range, the implication that populations can persist in heavily degraded areas lacks any supporting information and is at variance with the opinion of Wemmer and Watling (1986), who considered it strongly associated with primary forest, while accepting that animals sometimes wandered outside (at least 5 km from forest), perhaps specifically to prey on livestock.

Wemmer and Watling (1986) proposed that it takes about 5-10 days for an animal to cover its home range, predicted this range to be large, and consideredthat the species does not preferentially use trails within the forest, but goes anywhere (this latter may have ramifications for interpreting unbaited camera-trap encounter rates).

This species is perhaps a specialist consumer of Arenga palm fruit, but eats a wide variety of other material: the percentage occurrence of food items in 47 faeces found in the Lore Lindu Reserve was: 47% rodents, 45% Arenga palm fruit, 15% Pandanus palm fruit, 4% Sulawesi Dwarf Cuscus (Stigocuscus celebensus), 2% birds, 2% unidentified fruit, and 2% grass (Wemmer and Watling 1986). It appears to be nocturnal and solitary (Wemmer and Watling 1986, Lee et al. 2003). Wemmer and Watling (1986) observed its great agility (in captivity) and characterised it as strongly arboreal. However, Wemmer and Watling (1986) made clear that they were finding ground-level tracks in unbaited circumstances, and concluded it came to ground to forage more often than do species like Binturong (Arctictis binturong) and African Palm-civet (Nandinia binotata).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Sulawesi palm civets preferred habitat is primary growth rain forest. Evidence suggests these civets are equally prevalent across elevations within its range. These habitats include upper montane rain forest and cloud forest, lower montane rain forest, and lowland rain forest. Sulawesi civets are also associated with farms, where they seek out chicken coops.

Range elevation: 0 to 2600 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest ; mountains

Other Habitat Features: agricultural

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Trophic Strategy

Sulawesi palm civets are omnivores, subsisting on a variety of animal prey and fruits. Scat analysis showed small rodents and birds to be the highest content, but fruits probably provide a larger portion of the diet and are more completely digested. Prey attributed to Sulawesi palm civets include the Sulawesi cuscus, piglets of the Sulawesi warty pig, various members of the 28 species of rodents found on Sulawesi, chickens, and megapodes including Macrodephalon maleo, as well as bird eggs. When consuming a bird, the Sulawesi civet eats the entire animal, including most of the feathers and the feet. In its fugivorus capacity, Sulawesi palm civets are more of a specialist on palm fruits than the Malay civet. Additional fruit foods include cultivated bananas and papayas. Grass was also found in scats, probably eaten for its fibrous benefits.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; eggs

Plant Foods: leaves; fruit

Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Eats eggs); herbivore (Frugivore ); omnivore

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Associations

These civets are good dispersers of seeds given their preference for palm fruits and the large range of forest types they are found in on Sulawesi. They are also an important predator as the largest mammalian carnivore on the island.

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

  • Corlett, R. 2007. The Impact of Hunting on the Mammalian Fauna of Tropical Asian Forests. Biotropica, 39/3: 292-303.
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As the largest native predator on Sulawesi, this civet does not have conspicuous anti-predator adaptions. Number killed by humans and other mortality statistics are unknown.

Known Predators:

  • humans (Homo sapiens)

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Known prey organisms

Macrogalidia musschenbroekii preys on:
Bubalus depressicornis

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Unlike Malay civets, Sulawesi palm civets do not make latrines to mark territory with repeated defecation in the same place. They do leave scratch markings on trees 2 m or so from the ground. Females have a perineal scent gland, most likely for within species communication.

Communication Channels: visual ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan of the Sulawesi civet is unknown. Other civets have lifespans of 5 to 20 years.

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Reproduction

The reproductive biology of these civets has yet to be studied.

Reproductive behavior of this little known viverrid is still unknown. It is likely similar to other civets, but because Sulawesi civets are monotypic in its genus and possibly grouped in the wrong subfamily it is difficult to compare them to other species. In general, other civets have one to two litters of one to three young per year, with a gestation period of 30 to 60 days. Time to sexual maturity is about one year.

Breeding interval: The breeding interval for Sulawesi civets is unknown.

Breeding season: The mating season for Sulawesi civets is unknown.

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

Females care for the young and have two pairs of nipples. It is possible that mother and young share some territory. It is unlikely that males participate in parental care, but this is not known for sure.

Parental Investment: female parental care

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2cd+3cd+4cd; C1

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2015

Assessor/s
Tasirin, J., Dinets, V., Meijaard, E., Brodie, J., Nijman, V., Loffeld, T.A.C., Hilser, H., Shepherd, C., Seymour, A.S. & Duckworth, J.W.

Reviewer/s
Hoffmann, M.

Contributor/s
Hutchinson, R., Engelhardt, A., MacKinnon, J.R., Jihad, Clayton, L., Lambaihang, J., Wood, P., Purser, S., Hunowu, I., Hall, J., Eggen, W., Martin, T., Priston, N., Siwu, S. & Leggett, M.

Justification
Sulawesi Civet is listed as Vulnerable because of itspresumedpopulation decline rate and small population. A coarse estimate of forest loss onSulawesifor the period 2000-2010 combined with evidence (from one site) that the species depends on forest indicates a decline in habitat of about 26% over a three-generation period, taken as 15 years (see Population); within surviving habitat, population losses, if any, from hunting and killing in retaliation for taking small livestock will be additional. Even though mammal hunting is pervasive in at least some parts of the species' range, there is no evidence that this species is declining through hunting for consumption (directly or as bycatch). However, the numbers killed in retribution for predation on small livestock may be significant, particularly with the extensive forest conversion and fragmentation meaning that a much higher proportion of the population is now in striking range of human habitation (animals will move at least 5 km from forest and take livestock). This factor is assumed to give an overall loss over the last three generations exceeding 30%. These rates are likely to continue for the next three generations.

It is also plausible thatSulawesi Civet is, overall, rare.About 40,000 km of primary forest were recently assessed to persist on Sulawesi. Assuming Wemmer and Watlings (1986) finding in Lore Lindu National Park of a strong association with old-growth forest applies across the speciess range, and that the evidence of absence from even some old-growth forest, e.g., Tangkoko, and the general rarity of records indicates a patchy distribution, the population is likely to be small enough for categorisation as Vulnerable under criterion C too. Specifically, if only half the primary forest is occupied, at a density of one animal per 1.5 km, this gives a total population of 13,300 animals, of which perhaps about two-thirds (9,000) would be mature individuals. Indeed, it is even plausible that the number of mature individuals might be below the threshold for Endangered (2,500): this would be so if only a quarter of the forest were occupied, and at a density of one animal per 3 km, with one-third of the population not being mature individuals. There is no evidence of such low densities in occupied habitat or of such a low proportion of habitat being occupied, but this scenario is not inconceivable.

Pending further information, the existing Vulnerable categorisation is maintained. A better understanding of thespecies' conservation status and needs is a high priority.

History
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • 1996
    Vulnerable (VU)
  • 1994
    Rare (R)
  • 1990
    Rare (R)
  • 1988
    Rare (R)
  • 1986
    Rare (R)
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Population estimates are difficult because of data limitations and their reclusive nature. The lower elevation forest habitat of the Sulawesi civet is at risk from extensive logging. The high elevation forest is less at risk due to the difficulty of access for humans. Some suggest that these civets could be at risk from hunting, but the native peoples of Sulawesi do not harvest civets due to their distasteful perineal gland. When hunting does occur it takes place in the lowland range of the civet. Sulawesi civets live in several protected areas: including The Dumoga Bone National Park, Gunung Ambang Reserve, Tangkoko-Batuangas Reserve, Lore Lindu Reserve, and Morowali Reserve.

CITES: no special status

  • Brooks, T., S. Pimm, V. Kapos, C. Ravilious. 1999. Threats from deforestation to montane and lowland birds and mammals in insular South-east Asia. Journal of Animal Ecology, 68/6: 1061-1078.
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Population

Population
The overall population status ofSulawesi Civetis very poorly known. Published records are very scarce (Wemmer et al. 1983, Wemmer and Watling 1986, Lee et al. 2003) and only 28 museum specimens are known (Veron 2001). Unpublished records and reports include: (1) Bakiriang Wildlife Sanctuary, central Sulawesi: a single individual observed by night in 2013; (2) an unconfirmed record from Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park in 1993; (3) Feruhumpenai-Matano Nature Reserve; and (4) Karaeng-Lompobattang Protection Forest (P. Wood pers. comm. 2014, Jihad pers. comm. 2014). There are also unconfirmed reports (rare sightings by local people) from a forest near Tomohon, 25 km south of Manado (J. Tasirin pers. comm. 2014) and from the Togian archipelago and Buton island (see the Geographic Range section).

Sulawesi Civet is evidently rare in, or locally absent from,some areas within its general geographic range. In the well-studied Tangkoko Reserve, it was not found in the only camera-trap survey to date, of about 1,000 camera-trap-nights over 01,000 m a.s.l. (J. Brodie pers. comm. 2015). In many years of intensive wildlife watching, Jukber Lambaihang (pers. comm. 2015) has never seen Sulawesi Civet at this site, although he has observed it in Lore Lindu National Park.Similarly, R. Hutchinson (pers. comm. 2015) hasseen it only inLore Lindu NP.In five full nights of spotlighting on foot on Sulawesi, V. Dinets (pers. comm. 2015) never found the species, and in 35 hours of night driving through forest, he had only one record: near Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, 12 km from the park office. In south-east Sulawesi, Lee et al. (2003) found it in three of the five survey areas in which they camera-trapped, suggesting that it could be relatively widespread there, although they had only one record at each. Their encounter rate has been considered to suggest that the species is scarce in this part of the island, but it is difficult to make anydeduction about abundance from this information. Lee et al. (2003) reported that they set their camera-traps 11.5 m above the ground: this is so much higher than is ideal for surveying small carnivores that it is likely to have depressed encounter rates, and in the same programme, they photographed Malay Civet only once, and Common Palm Civet not at all (I. Hunowu verbally 2008). The low total number of Sulawesi Civet photographs mightsimply reflectthe low total effort. This was given as 23,485 hours (= 9,653 + 5,187 + 8,645, in three areas), which equates to 979 camera-trap-nights. Comparison with figures for palm civet camera-trapping in a range of sites across Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. 2008), where camera-traps were set 4050 cm above ground, and thus more photographs of civets would be expected, gives no support that the results in Lee et al. of only three photograph events indicate rarity of Sulawesi Civet. In roughly 27,700 trap-nights in Myanmar, there were 36 photograph events of Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphoditus, ten of Masked Palm Civet Paguma larvata and none of Small-toothed Palm Civet Arctogalidia trivirgata (which is almost wholly arboreal). For easier comparison, Lee et al. (2003) found Sulawesi Civet at 3.0 events per 1,000 trap-nights, exceeding Myanmars figures of 1.3 Common Palm Civet events per 1,000 trap-nights, 0.36 Masked Palm Civet events per 1,000 trap-nights, and 1.6 palm civet events (all species combined) per 1,000 trap-nights. If Sulawesi Civet is more active on the ground than are these palm civets, then a more relevant comparison with Myanmar would be with the ground-dwelling Large Indian Civet Viverra zibetha; Than Zaw et al. (2008) recorded this at 4.6 events per 1,000 trap-nights, only at 150% the rate at which Sulawesi Civet was being camera-trapped by Lee et al. (2003). This difference could simply reflect that in the heights at which the two survey programmes set their camera-traps. But in fact all evidence (notably Wemmer and Watling 1986) suggests that Sulawesi Civet is significantly arboreal, meaning that ground-level camera-traps (at least, non-baited ones) might well be lesseffective at detecting it than at finding Viverracivets. Moreover, the exact microhabitats at which camera-traps are set can have huge, though rarely quantified, effects on the frequency with which individual species are photographed. With only three events, the Lee et al. (2003) records do not allow any strong statement of the speciess abundance in this area. The considered opinion of Wemmer and Watling (1986: 8), based upon more field contact with the species than any other Western biologists, was that in the Lore Lindu Reserve Macrogalidia was common. Extrapolating this single-site conclusion to the whole island would be rash, but it underlines that there is as yet no real evidence that the species is genuinely rare in the areas where it occurs; nor indeed is thereany that it is not rare. The paucity of recordsin trade or villages (see 'Theats')suggests that thespecies might be rare; although its part-aboreality might insulate itsomewhat from the largely ground-operating trapsused in most hunting on the island for animals of thissize-class and above, it evidentlyspendssignificant time on the ground asshown by the finding of footprints by Wemmer and Watling (1986) and, perhaps, the camera-trapping of Lee et al. (2003), although it is notstated in the latter whether lures, which can bring arboreal animalsto the ground, were used. Activity on the ground exposes it to various formsof trapping (see 'Threats'), andalthough in theory possible, it is implausible that bycatchSulawesi Civetswere abandoned in the field, it is more likely that few are caught.

There is no direct information on the population trend, but assuming that this species is indeed strongly reliant upon old-growth forest (see Wemmer and Watling (1986)), forest change can be used to suggest what might be the broad trend. According to Abood et al. (2014), Sulawesi lost about 20,000 km of forest between 2000 and 2010, mostly in areas outside industrial concessions for timber, pulp and paper, oil palm and mining, According to the Ministry of Forestry (2011), Sulawesi had 101,172 km of forest in 2010, of which 39,151 km was primary, 61,854 km secondary, and 167 km planted forest. A total of 20,000 km of forest loss between 2000 and 2010 would indicate that there was about 120,000 km of forest in 2000, and that Sulawesi had lost 17% of its forest in this 10-year period. Assuming that these rates remained similar over a 15-year window (i.e., the last three generations, with one generation taken as five years; Pacifici et al. 2013), this indicates a decline in habitat of about 26%. Any losses within remaining habitat will be additional to this; given the level of conflict with livestock around Lore Lindu documented by Wemmer and Watling (1986) and increased fragmentation of Sulawesis forests since then, these losses are likely to be driving additional declines (see the Threats section).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Sulawesi Civet can safely be stated to be threatened by forest loss, degradation and fragmentation, and perhaps by lethal control as a predator of livestock. Hunting and the effects of introduced carnivores are less likely to be driving population declines. The species was considered forest-dependent by Wemmer and Watling (1986), and no subsequent information contradicts this. Ongoing fragmentation of forest can be assumed to expose an ever-higher proportion of the population to retaliatory killing; it is a documented predator of livestock, with three of six conflicts investigated by Wemmer and Watling (1986) resulting in lethal control of theSulawesiCivet in question.

In NorthSulawesi, the impact of hunting on this species is probably low. No information was traced for other partsof the island,and given that ethnic groupsmay differ in their consumption patterns, thesituation in NorthSulawesishould not be assumed to hold for the rest of the island. Wemmer and Watling (1986) found no evidence around Lore Lindu that Sulawesi Civet is specifically sought for food, and plenty of circumstantial evidence that it is not. Various more recent market trade and village consumption surveys in North Sulawesi corroborate this. In 2011 surveys of wildlife meat in north Sulawesi markets by Selamatkan Yaki, a programme through Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (UK), did not find the species (T.A.C. Loffeld pers. comm. 2015). Two years of extensive trade surveys in North Sulawesi province in 20012003 detected nearly 7,000 wild mammalsin road blockades of which fewer than 100 were (in total) small bats (Chiroptera), babirusas Babyrousa, macaquesMacaca, cuscusesPhalangerandStigocuscus, and civets, and almost 100,000 wild mammals in markets, of which only 1.2% were (in total) cuscuses, squirrels (Sciuridae), babirusas, macaques, tarsiers Tarsius, civets, anoasBubalus, and deer Rusa timorensis(Lee et al. 2005). Similar surveys continued, and up to 2006 there seems to have been no record of Sulawesi Civet in any year (Wildlife Conservation Society per M. Leggett pers. comm. 2015). However, in 2007 one Sulawesi Civet was reported in a truck-load of wildlife meat inspected in Maelang, North Sulawesi province; the consignment was confiscated and buried (J. Tasarin pers.comm. 2015). In 2003,S.Siwu(pers. comm. 2015)photographed parts (including head and paws) of aSulawesi Civet in Maeleng market.Based on almost continuous market surveys in Tomohon and Langowan from 2000 to 2014, L. Clayton (pers. comm. 2015) considers it to be, at most, rarely traded.

The Minahasans do not usually seek the species for consumption; their order of preferred wildlife meat is, in general, Sulawesi Wild Pig (Sus celebensis), fruit bats (Megachiroptera), white tailed forest rats (Rattus spp.), Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus),macaques, Water Monitor (Varanussalvator), cuscuses, and anoas. Less preferred species such as babirusas, civets, Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) (meat) or tarsiers, if they are trapped or shot by hunters, may be sent opportunistically to market (J. Tasarin pers. comm. 2015). This is corroborated by intensive surveys of village consumption by the Selamatkan Yaki programme in 20112015. These found only four respondents stating that they had eaten or kept musang (which could also refer to Malay Civet (Viverra tangalunga), or, if present, Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)) as a pet. Although if another name were used for Sulawesi Civet, records of consumption would not have been picked up, this suggests a low incidence of in-village consumption in the surveyed areas. In 20112012, villages were spread through North Sulawesi:Agotey (Pineleng), Kumu (Tombariri), Wawona (Tatapaan), Paslaten (Tomohon Timur), Tinoor (Tomohon Utara), Rurukan (Tomohon Timur), Pangolombian (Tomohon Selatan), Molas (Bunaken), Kawatak (Langowan Selatan), Kasawari (Aertembaga), Airmadidi (Airmadidi), Pinilih (Dimembe), Dua Sudara (Ranowulu), Kombot (Pinolosian), Lolak (Lolak), Tudo Aog (Boloang), Liberia (Modayag), Sinsingon (Passi Timur) and Tondey (Motoling Barat); in each village 40 respondents were interviewed, resulting in 760 respondents. In 2013, there were 781 respondents in Tomohon and Langowan, in 2014, 1,135 in Airmadidi and Bitung, and in 2015, 764 in Tomohon and Langowan. No respondents mentioned that the eating of any animal was culturally avoided (T.A.C. Loffeld, H. Hilser and V. Melfi pers. comm. 2015). In these areas, most hunting is believed to be with ground snares, nets and dogs (J. Tasarin pers. comm. 2015, L. Clayton pers. comm. 2015, T.A.C. Loffeld pers. comm. 2015). Sulawesi Civet is believed to be largely arboreal (Wemmer and Watling 1986) and thus is might be at low risk from these methods. There is considerable arboreal snaring for rats, but the nooses are too small to catch Sulawesi Civet except by a limb; air-gun hunting perhaps would result in most animals taken (J. Tasarin pers. comm 2015).

Live wildlife markets on Java and Bali trade many civets, including those from Indonesian islands other than Java; no Sulawesi Civet has been noted in these surveys (Shepherd 2012, Nijman et al. 2014, V. Nijman pers. comm. 2015), nor have any come to the Cikananga rescue centre in Java, which has received other Sulawesi species (W. Eggen pers. comm. 2015). There are some civet-lover clubs on Sulawesi but whether a significant number of members keep captive Sulawesi Civet has not been established; their internet content does, however, include advice on how to keep it (V. Nijman pers. comm. 2015). If civet-keeping were to rise dramatically in popularity there (as it has on Java;Nijmanet al. 2014), and this species were to become a sought-after holding, then given the assumed low population of this species, targeted off-take might substantially exacerbate the rate of decline.

Non-native species of civet (Malay Civet and Common Palm Civet) and domestic cats and dogs might threatenSulawesi Civet. However, given that it apparently is quite arboreal, none is likely to be a significant predator and the only likely strong competitor might be Common Palm Civet; but thisspeciesis scarce (probably not in fact naturalised) on Sulawesi (Wemmer and Watling 1986, Veron 2001). Moreover, on Buton islanddogs and cats live in the forest only near villages and roads (Seymour et al. 2010); assuming this is true also for the mainland, they perhapshave little contact with Sulawesi Civet.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Sulawesi Civet is known from several protected areas including Rawa Aopa National Park, Tanjung Peropa Wildlife Reserve, Mangolo Recreation Forest, Lore Lindu National Park (NP), and Bogani Nani Wartabone NP (Wemmer and Watling 1986, Lee et al. 2003, V. Dinets pers. comm. 2015). This species is totally protected in Indonesia (Shepherd 2008).

Understanding of the conservation status of many Asian small carnivoreshas advanced greatlysince the mid 1990s with the widespread use of camera-trapping. Thiscamera-trapping has, however, rarely been targeted atsmall carnivores: it often focuses onbig catsPantheraandNeofelis, Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), and other high-profile species.None of these inhabitSulawesi; consequently, camera-trappinghas been rather limited on the island, andSulawesi Civet remains very poorly known. Nonetheless, various large mammals of high conservation concern on Sulawesi (babirusas Babyrousa, endemic macaques Macaca, and anoas Bubalus) receive some level of conservation research and intervention; camera-trapping and activities concerning these genera should be encouraged to seek and collate records of the endemic civet to allow a more informed assessment of its conservation needs.

Maintaining the habitat integrity of the forest protected area network of Sulawesi is probably the most important conservation intervention for this species. More precise recommendations for intervention require further investigation before formulation. More information is specifically needed about: (i) the extent to which retributory killing is a threat to the population rather than simply a cause of death for individuals; (ii) assessment whether the indications from North Sulawesi that there is no significant demand for trade or consumption apply across the island; (iii) evaluation of the relative merits of potential techniques to survey the species' distribution and population status, including, at least, baited and non-baited camera-trapping; (iv) use of the most effective and efficient detection method(s), to determine current distribution, population status and habitat use, specifically, how patchy within old-growth forest the occurrence is; (v) the extent to which the species is kept and desired by civet-lover clubs in Sulawesi and elsewhere in Indonesia. Clarification of any aspect of its natural history might also provide information of high management value.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Sulawesi palm civets are known to raid chicken coops.

Negative Impacts: crop pest

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There is evidence that Sulawesi palm civets are sometimes eaten if caught accidentally. Their pelts are sometimes kept as trophies if killed raiding livestock or caught accidentally. They have no great economic value to humans and is not specifically sought out. Sulawesi palm civets could be considered a pest controller, because of the large portion of rodents in their diet.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

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Wikipedia

Sulawesi palm civet

The Sulawesi palm civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii), also known as Sulawesi civet, musang and brown palm civet is a little-known palm civet endemic to Sulawesi. It is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN due to population decline estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (suspected to be 15 years) inferred from habitat destruction and degradation.[1]

Macrogalidia is a monospecific genus.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

The Sulawesi civet has a light brownish-chestnut coloured soft and short coat with numerous light hairs intermixed. The underparts vary from fulvous to white; the breast is rufescent. There is a pair of indistinct longitudinal stripes and some faint spots on the hinder part of the back. The whiskers are mixed brown and white. The tail is marked with alternating rings of dark and pale brown, which are indistinct on the under surface, and disappear towards the dark tip. The length of head and body is about 35 in (89 cm) with a 25 in (64 cm) long tail. The skull with the bony palate is much produced backwards, but otherwise resembles that of Paradoxurus hermaphroditus. The teeth differ from those of all the Paradoxurus species in that the two cheek-series run nearly parallel, in place of being widely diververgent posteriorly.[3]

The Sulawesi palm civet is a fairly large palm civet weighing about 3.8–6 kg (8.4–13.2 lb).[citation needed]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Sulawesi palm civets have been recorded in lowland forest, lower and upper montane forest, grasslands and near farms.[4] They appear to be more common in forests than in agricultural areas. Although they appear to be generalists that can probably tolerate some degree of disturbed habitat, there is no good evidence that populations can survive independent of tall forest.[5]

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

Sulawesi palm civets are omnivorous and feed on small mammals, fruit and grass. They occasionally take birds and farm animals. Their home range is estimated at about 150 ha (0.58 sq mi).[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Meijaard, E., MacKinnon, J., Jennings, A. P. and Veron, G. (2008). "Macrogalidia musschenbroekii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  2. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 550. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Lydekker, R. (1896). A Hand-book to the Carnivora, Part I. Cats, Civets, and Mungooses. Edward Lloyd, Limited, London
  4. ^ Wemmer, C. and Watling, D. (1986). Ecology and status of the Sulawesi palm civet. Biological Conservation 35: 1–17.
  5. ^ a b Lee, R. J., Riley, J., Hunowu, I. and Maneasa, E. (2003). The Sulawesi palm civet: Expanded distribution of a little known endemic viverrid. Oryx 37: 378–381.
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