Malayan Civet, Viverra tangalunga

The Malayan civet (Viverra tangalunga), also known as the oriental civet or the Malay civet, is a member of the Viverridae family which contains linsangs and genets. This civet can only be found on the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Bangka, the Philippines, the Rhio Archipelago, and the Malay Peninsula. It prefers a wide variety of habitats including forests, the outer areas of villages, and cultivated lands. It has been found at elevations up to 3,608 feet in Kelabit Upland in Sarawak and 2,952 feet on Gunung Madalan in Sabah.

The Malayan civet spends most of its time on the ground, but it can be seen climbing trees. Its upper body is grey in color and holds many dark spots, while the tail holds about fifteen bands. Its diet consists of small vertebrates and invertebrates.

It has been found that the Malayan civet occurs in high numbers throughout its range. One recent Malay study found that terrestrial civets are slightly affected by logging, because many were found in recently logged forests, while none were found in regenerated forests that were at least twenty years old. Another study conducted rendered different results, finding that fifty-seven percent of terrestrial civets preferred to inhabit a forest that had not been harvested of trees. The same study found that the Malayan civet preferred larger amounts of fruit in its diet in unlogged forests. It is thought that this could cause competition for food resources with other species that prefer fruit, like the palm civet. The Malayan civet appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Malayan Civet. Credit: Dellex/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)