Hose’s Palm Civet, Diplogale hosei
Hose’s palm civet (Diplogale hosei) is a mammal that can be found in northern Borneo. Within its small range, it is thought to prefer a habitat in montane forests or damp areas, and recent studies have shown that it prefers altitudes between 1,476 to 2,000 feet. Individuals have been spotted in lowland forests, and at altitudes of up to 2,400 feet, so its preferred habitat is debatable. This species was named after the zoologist Charles Hose.
Hose’s palm civet reaches an average body length of up to twenty-one inches, with a tail length of up to 13.6 inches. It reaches an average weight between 3.1 and 3.3 pounds. The fur on its upper body is dark brown in color while the underbelly is whitish brown to white in color. The fur around the eyes is significantly darker than the rest of the face. Its feet are slightly webbed, and the face holds long whiskers, which aid in movement. It is similar to the otter civet and the banded palm civet in appearance.
Hose’s palm civet is active at night and during the day, preferring to move about on the ground rather than in trees, unlike other palm civet species. It makes dens in between tree roots and under rocks. Because there have not been many sightings of this species, the diet of wild individuals is unknown. However, it is thought that the diet of the only captive individual may represent the species’ diet as a whole. This diet consisted of only fish and meat, which is the diet of all civets that can be found in Borneo.
The major threats to Hose’s palm civet include habitat destruction due to logging and slash-and-burn farming techniques, although it is thought that the species can survive these threats. Hunting is also thought to be a threat, but it is not known how often hunting occurs and the effects that it may have on population numbers. It does not occur in large numbers in the few protected areas where it resides. More information is needed about this species’ habitats, range, tolerance to threats, and population numbers before conservation efforts can be assessed and conducted. Currently, Hose’s palm civet appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Vulnerable.”
Image Caption: Hemigale hosei = Diplogale hosei. Credit: Joseph Smit/Wikipedia