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Threatened by poaching and illegal wildlife trade, the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a viverrid native to south and southeast Asia. Claimed to be carriers of SARS to humans, the Asian palm civet is currently listed as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
See the fact file below for more information on the Asian palm civet or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Asian Palm Civet worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
TAXONOMY AND EVOLUTION
- In 1777, Prussian zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas initially suggested the scientific name of the Asian palm civet to be Viverra hermaphrodita.
- Palawan and Borneo species are genetically linked, so the Asian palm civet on Palawan island could have come from Borneo during the Pleistocene era. It is also assumed that people brought the Asian palm civet to the other islands of the Philippine archipelago.
- It is known to be the nominate subspecies and is found in Sri Lanka and southern India and further north as the Narbada River. A number of zoological samples were discovered between 1820 and 1992.
- The Asian palm civet’s slender, compact body is covered with rough, shaggy hair that is naturally greyish in color. It has a white mask traversing the forehead, a small white blemish under each eye, a white mark on both side of the nostrils, and a thin dark line between the eyes.
- The muzzle, ears, lower quarters, and distal half of the tail are all black, with three rows of black coloring on the body.
- It is about 21 inches in length from head to body, with a 19-inch long tail. It weighs roughly 4.4 to 11.0 pounds.
- An Asian palm civet’s anal scent glands secrete a nauseating substance as a chemical defense when it feels unsafe or upset.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
- Asian palm civets are found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Philippines, and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bawean, and Siberut. They were also brought to Irian Jaya, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, and Sulawesi.
- Asian palm civets usually live in primary forests, but can also inhabit lower densities in secondary and selectively logged forest.
- They can also be spotted in parks and suburban gardens with mature fruit trees, fig trees, and peaceful vegetation.
- Their knifelike claws help them climb trees and house gutters. In some parts of Sri Lanka, Asian palm civets are viewed as a nuisance since they make a mess in ceilings and attics of most households, and create annoying noises fighting and wandering about at night.
BEHAVIOR AND ECOLOGY
- Scent marking demeanor and olfactory reaction to a number of excretions like urine, feces, and secretions of the perineal gland varies in both sexes. Scent marking by pulling the perineal gland and abandoning the secretion on the substrate is generally noticed in male and female Asian palm civets.
- The length of the olfactory reaction differs and depends on the sex and type of excretion.
- Asian palm civets are solitary mammals, except during mating. They are both terrestrial and arboreal, displaying a nocturnal activity pattern, especially between dusk and dawn.
FEEDING AND DIET
- Asian palm civets are omnivores, eating mostly fruits such as berries and pulpy fruits. These mammals help conserve tropical forest biomes through seed dispersal.
- They feed on naseberry, mango, rambutan, and coffee, even small mammals and insects.
- Their diet is also sustained by palm flower sap, which when fermented turns into wine. Because of this behavior, they are also known as the toddy cat.
- Since they are solitary and nocturnal mammals, little is known about their reproduction.
- In March 2010, a couple of palm civets were studied when attempting to mate. They were seen copulating on a tree branch for five minutes. During that time, the male positioned on top of the female four to five times. After each time, the pair drifted apart for a few minutes and repeated the same behavior.
- After mating, the couple frolicked around, transferring from one branch to another. They separated after about six minutes and moved off to a number of branches and relaxed there.
- Females naturally give birth to up to four babies after a gestation period that lasts for a number of months. They nest in an underground burrow that has already been dug by other animals in order to securely raise the babies.
- Unlike other carnivore mammals, Asian civet babies are generally born relatively mobile and covered with fur. They are nursed by their mother until they are old enough to defend themselves from other predators.
- In most regions of their range, Asian palm civets are poached for bushmeat and the pet trade. In southern China, they are hunted and ambushed.
- Killed civets were spotted in local tribes of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Agra, and Uttar Pradesh in India between 1998 and 2003.
- The oil drawn out from the Asian palm civet’s meat is stored in linseed oil inside a closed earthen jar and regularly sunned. These extracts are used as a cure for scabies.
- Currently, Asian palm civets experience threats from poaching and deforestation, which causes habitat loss.
- They are listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, meaning they face little threat at the moment.
Asian Palm Civet Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Asian palm civet across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Asian Palm Civet worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) which is a viverrid native to south and southeast Asia. Claimed to be carriers of SARS to humans, the Asian palm civet is currently listed as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Asian Palm Civet Facts
- Cat-like Viverrids
- Describing Toddy Cat
- Things You Need To Know
- Toddy Cat Wiki
- Toddy Cat’s Life
- Geographic Range
- Asian Civets
- Toddy (and) Cat
- Tell Me More
- Choosing Sides
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Link will appear as Asian Palm Civet Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 23, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.