Javan Ferret-badger, Melogale orientalis

The Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis) can be found in Indonesia, with a range that includes Bali and Java. The preferred habitat of this species is not well known, but one specimen from Bali was found in a secondary forest near plantations. Other records show a preference for primary forests, so it is though that the Javan ferret-badger prefers a large variety of habitats. It was once classified as a subspecies of the large-toothed ferret-badger, but studies showed this to be untrue. Although it has been classified as a distinct species, more research is needed to properly classify it. The habits of this species are largely unknown.

It is not known whether the Javan ferret-badger is common or rare, and because its habits are unknown, it is difficult to understand the threats its faces and its tolerance to these threats. On the island of Java, much of the forested habitat has been converted into agricultural land, or has been destroyed for other uses. Although some species in the Melogale genus are able to adapt to habitat destruction, it is not known whether the Javan species reacts similarly. It does appear in trade markets, and most likely falls prey to traps meant for other animals, but these threats have not yet been assessed. Despite the gaps in information of this ferret-badger, it is known to occur in many protected areas, but more information is needed in order to ensure conservation efforts would preserve the species. Currently, the Javan ferret-badger appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Data Deficient.”

Image Caption: Javan Ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis). Credit: Kispál Attila/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)