Burmese Ferret-badger, Melogale personata
The Burmese ferret-badger or the large-toothed ferret-badger (Melogale personata) can be found in Thailand, Indochina, southern Yunnan, Myanmar, and northeast India. Its preferred habitats are unknown, but it is thought that habitats depend upon dispersal of mature individuals and it has been found in forested areas, grasslands, and rice fields. In India, it can be found at elevations of up to 6,397 feet. It holds three recognized subspecies, although two of these have also been classified as distinct species. Further research is needed to properly classify all members of the Melogale genus.
The Burmese ferret-badger can reach an average body length between fourteen and sixteen inches, with a tail length of up to about eight inches and an average weight between three and nine pounds. Its fur can range in color from dark brown to tannish brown in color, and it bears a white stripe extending down its back. The tip of its tail is white, and its face is marked by white and black patches of fur, which vary from badger to badger.
The Burmese ferret-badger is nocturnal, spending the daytime hours in burrows abandoned by other creatures. Although little is known about its breeding habits, it does produce an average of three young per litter. The diet of this species consists of insects, frogs, small mammals and birds, fruits, eggs, and occasionally carrion.
The Burmese ferret-badger is most often seen in southeast areas of Asia, and occurs rarely in other areas of its range. In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, it has been hunted for traditional medicinal purpose, but this is thought to be a minor threat. It is thought that human encroachment has not affected this badger because it chooses not live near humans, but it is occasionally hunted for its meat. It is thought to occur in many protected areas throughout its range, but more research is needed to confirm this. Because there is little information regarding this species’ habits, threats, and tolerance to threats, it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Data Deficient.”
Image Caption: Mariomassone/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)