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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 21 years (captivity) Observations: Captive specimens may live up to 21 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

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Breeding takes place twice a year, with two birth seasons, once in May and the other in October. These months are during the wet season are followed by dry periods. The young are born after a 64 day gestation period in an arboreal shelter such as a hollow branch. Up to four young are born, but the average number is two. The female produces milk from as many teats as there are young, which means that each kitten uses a single nipple. The young purr like kittens when sucking. An interesting secretion is produced by the skin overlaying the mammary glands. It stains the fur of the belly a brilliant orange-yellow and rubs off on to the young. It appears to repel sexual approaches by males and/or neutralize attacks on the young.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

Average gestation period: 64 days.

Average number of offspring: 2.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
Sex: male:
1095 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female:
1095 days.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Behavior

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Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Conservation Status

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A great number of these animals inhabit Africa and they seem not threatened in any way.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Benefits

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Civets commonly raid chicken/turkey coops. This has caused many problems for farmers because palm civets are very persistent and they are abundant.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Benefits

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There is no recent reports of hunting or eating this animal, but this used to be popular in Bugisu.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Trophic Strategy

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Rodents, insects, eggs, carrion, pineapples, fallen fruit, birds and fruit bats are part of the diet. While the Palm Civet has truly omnivorous tastes, it does not hunt prey such as adult birds and mammals when they are active. Instead, it visits roosts and hen yards to get an easy kill. Such things as rodents, insects, and fallen fruit are sought on level ground. The animal also travels a good distance out of the forest in search of food. They hold their food with the forepaws, and when in branches they twist their hindfeet about in a variety of positions in order to get a stable base so the forearms may be used to manipulate food. Living prey is held fast and killed with a series of fast, deadly bites; small mammals and birds are swallowed whole. Even though these animals do eat meat, they are omnivorous and their most common source of food is fruit.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Distribution

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The species is common in most forested areas of East Africa.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Habitat

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Civets are most common in forest areas of Eastern Africa. They will occasionally wander out of the forest to search for food. The typical shelter is a tree, where they spend most of their time.

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Life Expectancy

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Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
15.0 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
15.8 years.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Morphology

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The Palm Civet is a very inconspicuous animal. The coarse, cryptically colored coat is blotched and mottled and blends with the rough bark of trees and the shadows cast by leaves. The eyes are yellow-green and the pupils close to a vertical hairline. The well muscled and sturdy tail, which is usually as long as the body, is employed as a brace when the forepaws are being used for prey. All four limbs are powerful. They exhibit highly flexible joints bound with thick sheets of connective tissue. The toes and palms of the feet have pink naked pads and an area of very thick skin, which acts as friction pad whenever the hindlimbs take weight of the body. It is a small animal with short legs, small ears, and a body resembling a cat.

Range mass: 1.7 to 2.1 kg.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average basal metabolic rate: 5.565 W.

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Nocon, W. 1999. "Nandinia binotata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nandinia_binotata.html
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Brief Summary

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The nocturnal, arboreal, mainly solitary, and somewhat secretive African Palm Civet (Nandinia binotata) is the sole species in the genus Nandinia and family Nandiniidae. African Palm Civets are among the most common small carnivores in forested regions throughout much of tropical Africa, although they are threatened by both habitat destruction and hunting by humans for food, traditional medicine, and fur for decorative uses (they are the most commonly sold carnivores in markets in Equatorial Guinea and Guinea), as well as to protect crops and poultry. They are found in rain forests and deciduous forests in West and Central Africa from Gambia to southwest Sudan and can also be found in some regions with montane and subtropical forest in northern Angola and eastern and southeastern Africa. They are common in coastal lowland forests and their range extends into montane forest as high as 2500 meters in both West Africa (Cameroon) and East Africa (Tanzania). In addition to rain forests, African Palm Civets are found in riparian forest, deciduous woodland, and savannah woodland, occurring not only in undisturbed forest but also in secondary forest and other disturbed woodlands.

At one time African Palm Civets were placed in the family Viverridae. By the mid-20th century, however, the species was moved to its own family based on several very distinctive morphological features, a taxonomic judgement that has been supported by subsequent phylogenetic analysis based on both molecular and morphological data (e.g., Eizirik et al. 2010).

African Palm Civets feed mainly on fruit, but also take some animal prey such as insects, bird eggs and nestlings, small rodents, and even carrion.

In parts of their range, African Palm Civets are sometimes kept as pets.

(Gaubert 2009 and references therein)

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African palm civet

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The African palm civet (Nandinia binotata), also known as the two-spotted palm civet, is a small feliform mammal widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]

Characteristics

The African palm civet is grey to dark brown with dark spots on the back. It has short legs, small ears, a lean body, and a long ringed tail. It has two sets of scent glands on the lower abdomen and between the third and fourth toes on each foot, which secrete a strong smelling substance used to mark territory and in mating. Adult females reach a body length of 37–61 cm (15–24 in) with a 34–70 cm (13–28 in) long tail and weigh 1.2–2.7 kg (2.6–6.0 lb). Adult males reach 39.8–62.5 cm (15.7–24.6 in) in body length with a 43–76.2 cm (16.9–30.0 in) long tail and weigh 1.3–3 kg (2.9–6.6 lb).[3]

The African palm civet's ear canal is not divided and cartilaginous at the end.[4]

Distribution and habitat

The African palm civet ranges throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa from Guinea to South Sudan, south to Angola and into eastern Zimbabwe. It has been recorded in deciduous forests, lowland rainforests, gallery and riverine forests, savanna woodlands, and logged forests up to an altitude of 2,500 m (8,200 ft).[1]

In Senegal, it was observed in 2000 in Niokolo-Koba National Park, which encompasses mainly open habitat dominated by grasses.[5] In Guinea's National Park of Upper Niger, it was recorded during surveys conducted in 1996 to 1997.[6] In Liberian Upper Guinean forests, it was sighted in Gbarpolu County and Bong County during surveys in 2013.[7] In the 1950s, one individual was wild-caught on Bioko Island.[8] However, it was not recorded on the island during subsequent surveys between 1986 and 2015.[9]

In Gabon’s Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, it was recorded in forested areas during a camera-trapping survey in 2012.[10] In Batéké Plateau National Park, it was recorded only west of the Mpassa River during surveys carried out between June 2014 and May 2015.[11]

In Zanzibar, it was recorded in groundwater forest on Unguja Island in 2003.[12]

Behaviour and ecology

The African palm civet is a nocturnal, largely arboreal mammal that spends most of the time on large branches, among lianas in the canopy of trees. It eats fruits such as those of the African corkwood tree (Musanga cecropioides), Uapaca, persimmon (Diospyros hoyleana), fig trees (Ficus), papayas (Carica papaya) and bananas (Musa).[13]

Males have home ranges of 34–153 ha (0.13–0.59 sq mi) and females of 29–70 ha (0.11–0.27 sq mi). The home range of a dominant male includes home ranges of several females.[13]

Reproduction

In Gabon, females were recorded to give birth in the long wet season and at the onset of the dry season between September and January.[13] The female usually gives birth after a gestation period of 2–3 months. A litter consists of up to four young that are suckled for around three months. While she has suckling young the female's mammary glands produce an orange-yellow liquid which discolours her abdomen and the young civets' fur. This probably discourages males from mating with nursing females. Its generation length is 7.8 years.[14]

Taxonomy and evolution

In 1830, John Edward Gray first described an African palm civet using the name Viverra binotata based on a zoological specimen obtained from a museum in Leiden.[15]

In 1843, Gray proposed the genus Nandinia and subordinated Viverra binotata to this genus.[16]

In 1929, Reginald Innes Pocock proposed the family Nandiniidae, with the genus Nandinia as sole member. He argued that it differs from the Aeluroidea by the structure and shape of its ear canal and mastoid part of the temporal bone.[4]

Results of morphological and molecular genetic analyses indicate that it differs from viverrids and diverged from the Feliformia about 44.5 million years ago.[17]

Phylogenetic tree

The phylogenetic relationships of African palm civet is shown in the following cladogram:[17][18][19]

Feliformia

Palaeogalidae

     

Nimravidae Dinictis Knight.jpg

Aeluroidea        

Alagtsavbaatar

   

Asiavorator

   

Shandgolictis

     

Feloidea (sensu stricto) Stamp-russia2014-save-russian-cats-(snow leopard).png

     

Viverroidea Malay Civet (Viverra tangalunga) white background.jpg

    Nandiniidae Nandinia

Nandinia sp. (BAR 475’03)

Nandinia binotata

Nandinia binotata arborea

   

Nandinia binotata binotata

   

Nandinia binotata gerrardi

   

Nandinia binotata intensa

       
(Feloidea sensu lato)
   

Threats

The African palm civet is threatened by habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.[1] In 2006, it was estimated that more than 4,300 African palm civets are hunted yearly in the Nigerian part and around 3,300 in the Cameroon part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests.[20]

In Guinea, dead African palm civets were recorded in spring 1997 on bushmeat market in villages located in the vicinity of the National Park of Upper Niger.[21] Dried heads of African palm civets were found in 2007 at the Bohicon and Dantokpa Markets in southern Benin, suggesting that they are used as fetish in animal rituals.[22] The attitude of rural people in Ghana towards African palm civets is hostile; they consider them a menace to their food resources and safety of children.[23] In Gabon, it is among the most frequently found small carnivores for sale in bushmeat markets.[24] Upper Guinean forests in Liberia are considered a biodiversity hotspot. They have already been fragmented into two blocks. Large tracts are threatened by commercial logging and mining activities, and are converted for agricultural use including large-scale oil palm plantations in concessions obtained by a foreign company.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Gaubert, P.; Bahaa-el-din, L.; Ray, J.; Do Linh San, E. (2015). "Nandinia binotata". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T41589A45204645. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T41589A45204645.en.
  2. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Van Rompaey, H.; Ray, J.C. (2013). "Nandinia binotata Two-spotted Palm Civet (African Palm Civet, Tree Civet)". In Kingdon, J.; Hoffmann, M. (eds.). The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 140−144.
  4. ^ a b Pocock, R. I. (1929). "Carnivora". Encyclopaedia Britannica. IV (14th ed.). pp. 896–900.
  5. ^ McGrew, W.C.; Baldwin, P.J.; Marchant, L.F.; Pruetz, J.D.; Tutin, C.E. (2014). "Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and their mammalian sympatriates: Mt. Assirik, Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal". Primates. 55 (4): 525−532. doi:10.1007/s10329-014-0434-2. PMID 24990446.
  6. ^ Ziegler, S.; Nikolaus, G.; Hutterer, R. (2002). "High mammalian diversity in the newly established National Park of Upper Niger, Republic of Guinea". Oryx. 36 (1): 73–80. doi:10.1017/s003060530200011x.
  7. ^ a b Bene, J. C. K.; Bitty, E. A.; Bohoussou, K. H.; Abedilartey, M.; Gamys, J.; Soribah, P. A. (2013). "Current conservation status of large mammals in Sime Darby Oil Palm Concession in Liberia". Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture & Health Sciences. 2 (2): 93−102.
  8. ^ Eisentraut, M. (1973). Die Wirbeltierfauna von Fernando Po und Westkamerun. Bonn: Bonner Zoologische Monographien 3.
  9. ^ Hoffmann, M.; Cronin, D.T.; Hearn, G.; Butynski, T. M.; Do Linh San, E. (2015). "A review of evidence for the presence of Two-spotted Palm Civet Nandinia binotata and four other small carnivores on Bioko, Equatorial Guinea". Small Carnivore Conservation (52 & 53): 13−23.
  10. ^ Nakashima, Y. (2015). "Inventorying medium-and large-sized mammals in the African lowland rainforest using camera trapping". Tropics. 23 (4): 151–164. doi:10.3759/tropics.23.151.
  11. ^ Hedwig, D.; Kienast, I.; Bonnet, M.; Curran, B. K.; Courage, A.; Boesch, C.; Kühl, H. S.; King, T. (2018). "A camera trap assessment of the forest mammal community within the transitional savannah‐forest mosaic of the Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon". African Journal of Ecology. 56 (4): 777–790. doi:10.1111/aje.12497.
  12. ^ Perkin, A. (2004). "A new range record for the African palm civet Nandinia binotata (Carnivora, Viverridae) from Unguja Island, Zanzibar". African Journal of Ecology. 42 (3): 232–234. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.2004.00499.x.
  13. ^ a b c Charles-Dominique, P. (1978). "Écologie et vie sociale de Nandinia binotata (Carnivores, Viverridés): Comparaison avec les prosimiens sympatriques du Gabon". La Terre et la Vie (32): 477−528.
  14. ^ Pacifici, M.; Santini, L.; Di Marco, M.; Baisero, D.; Francucci, L.; Grottolo Marasini, G.; Visconti, P.; Rondinini, C. (2013). "Generation length for mammals". Nature Conservation (5): 87–94.
  15. ^ Gray, J. E. (1830). "Fam. Felidae. Gen. Viverra". Spicilegia zoologica; or, original figures and short systematic descriptions of new and unfigured animals. London: Treüttel, Würtz. p. 9.
  16. ^ Gray, J. E. (1843). "Viverrina. The Nandine". List of the Specimens of Mammalia in the Collection of the British Museum. London: British Museum (Natural History). pp. 47–56.
  17. ^ a b Eizirik, E.; Murphy, W. J.; Koepfli, K. P.; Johnson, W. E.; Dragoo, J. W.; Wayne, R. K.; O'Brien, S. J. (2010). "Pattern and timing of diversification of the mammalian order Carnivora inferred from multiple nuclear gene sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 56 (1): 49–63. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.01.033. PMID 20138220.
  18. ^ Wilson, D.E.; Mittermeier, R.A., eds. (2009). Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Volume 1: Carnivora. Barcelona: Lynx Ediciones. pp. 50–658. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1.
  19. ^ Barycka, E. (2007). "Evolution and systematics of the feliform Carnivora". Mammalian Biology. 72 (5): 257–282. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2006.10.011.
  20. ^ Fa, J. E.; Seymour, S.; Dupain, J. E. F.; Amin, R.; Albrechtsen, L.; Macdonald, D. (2006). "Getting to grips with the magnitude of exploitation: bushmeat in the Cross–Sanaga rivers region, Nigeria and Cameroon". Biological Conservation. 129 (4): 497–510. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2005.11.031.
  21. ^ Ziegler, S.; Nikolaus, G.; Hutterer, R. (2002). "High mammalian diversity in the newly established National Park of Upper Niger, Republic of Guinea". Oryx. 36 (1): 73–80. doi:10.1017/s003060530200011x.
  22. ^ Djagoun, C. A. M. S.; Gaubert, P. (2009). "Small carnivorans from southern Benin: a preliminary assessment of diversity and hunting pressure". Small Carnivore Conservation (40): 1–10.
  23. ^ Campbell, M. (2009). "Proximity in a Ghanaian savanna: Human reactions to the African palm civet Nandinia binotata". Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 30 (2): 220–231. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9493.2009.00369.x.
  24. ^ Bahaa-el-din, L.; Henschel, P.; Aba’a, R.; Abernethy, K.; Bohm, T.; Bout, N.; Coad, L.; Head, J.; Inoue, E.; Lahm, S.; Lee, M. E.; Maisels, F.; Rabanal, L.; Starkey, M.; Taylor, G.; Vanthomme, A.; Nakashima, Y.; Hunter, L. (2013). "Notes on the distribution and status of small carnivores in Gabon". Small Carnivore Conservation (48): 19–29.

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African palm civet: Brief Summary

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The African palm civet (Nandinia binotata), also known as the two-spotted palm civet, is a small feliform mammal widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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