Servaline Genet, Genetta servalina

The servaline genet (Genetta servalina) is a carnivore that resembles a feline, although it is not closely related to the Felidae family. The status conservation of the servaline genet is of “Least Concern”. It is related to civets and linsangs, and has two recognized subspecies.

Lowe’s servaline genet was first described in 1932, from a single pelt found in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. Until 2000, this was the only specimen found, but a live trapping study brought the genet back into the spotlight. In 2002, one individual was spotted on camera in Udzungwa, and this was the first photographed Lowe’s servaline genet. Since then, many of these genets has been spotted in Udzungwa, the Uluguru and Nguru ranges, and Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains, causing some experts to believe their range  is larger than once estimated.

Another subspecies, Zanzibar servaline genet, is native to Unguja Island, Zanzibar. It was first discovered in 1995 when a skull and pelt were found in Kitogani village in south-central Unguja. Many individuals of this species were photographed in 2003 in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park for the first time.

The crested servaline genet, which is endangered, was once thought to be a subspecies of the servaline genet, but has since been listed as its own distinct species.

Image Caption: Servaline Genet, Cameroon. Credit: Andrewself/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)