Occurs in western and central Africa, ranging from the Cross R. in south-eastern Nigeria east to Cameroon and Central African Republic and southward to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Republic and DR Congo (Van Rompaey and Colyn in press). In 1994, a relic population was discovered in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, approximately 200 km west of the Cross R. (Colyn and Van Rompaey 1994) and a specimen was recovered being sold as bushmeat in Ibeno, just west of the Cross R. (Angelici et al. 1999). Collected to elevations of around 600-650 m asl (Van Rompaey and Colyn in press).
Habitat and Ecology
Habitat and Ecology
Inhabits forested areas near swampy places or near streams and stream-beds (Van Rompaey and Colyn in press). In the Dzanga-Sangha, Central African Republic, they prefer dense and tangled understorey in forest, avoiding the very open understories of the stands of mono-dominant Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest (Ray 1995, 1997). Omnivorous.
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Observations: Not much is known about the longevity of these animals, but one specimen lived 11.4 years old in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Van Rompaey, H., Ray, J. & Hoffmann, M.
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as the species is relatively widespread in the Congo forest basin, abundant in some areas, and present in several protected areas. Although they may be declining in some areas due to habitat loss and bushmeat hunting, they are not declining at a rate that warrants listing in a higher category of threat.
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern
Until recently, they were thought to be very rare, as reflected in the small number of museum specimens and general lack of study. In south-west Central African Republic, this is the most dominant small carnivore (Ray 1997; Ray and Sunquist 2001). However, in other areas, they are not as abundant as other forest carnivores (especially Crossarchus spp.), and they are rare in the Niger Delta (Van Rompaey and Colyn in press).
Although there are no major threats known to the species, numbers probably are declining as a result of forest fragmentation and forest loss by logging, mining, and slash and burn farming. They are also hunted for bushmeat (Van Rompaey and Colyn in press).
They are known to be present in protected areas, such as Dzanga-Sangha in Central African Republic. Nonetheless, given their dependency upon forested habitats, and localized declines due to habitat loss and hunting, there is clearly a need for continued population monitoring of this species.