Golden Palm Civet, Paradoxurus zeylonensis

The golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis) is a small mammal that can be found in Sri Lanka. Its range is fragmented into separate areas, including the Sinharaja Forest area, Uda Walawe National Park, and Wasgomuwa and Yala National Parks. It prefers a habitat in evergreen, monsoon, and lowland forests. The coat of this civet is dark brown to brownish gold in color. Although there is not much information about this species, it is thought to consume many things like insects, berries, frogs, fruits, lizards, and birds.

The golden palm civet is thought to be widespread throughout its range, although it is not commonly seen around human populated areas. This species is easily mistaken for the ruddy mongoose, so much so that the local name for the civet, Ranhothambuwa or Hotambuwa, is similar to the local name for the mongoose, Hotambuwa. It appears on a three-rupee Sri Lankan postal stamps, although on this stamp it is known as the Golden Palm Cat.

The golden palm civet is threatened by habitat loss, and has lost most of its natural lowland habitat in some areas of its range. It is also threatened by hunting in a few areas. It does occur in some protected areas and there are captive breeding populations, but more information is needed about its habits and tolerance to threats before it can properly be assessed. Currently, the golden palm civet appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Vulnerable.”

Image Caption: Golden palm civet, Paradoxurus zeylonensis photographed at Sinharaja in Sri lanka. Credit: Kalyanvarma/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)