Overview

Distribution

Hose's civets (Diplogale hosei) are native to Borneo. They have primarily been observed in the northwestern hills and mountains of the island in Brunei and Malaysia, in addition to sightings 500 km to the southwest in Indonesia.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

  • Samejia, H., G. Semiadi. 2012. First record of Hose's Civet Diplogale hosei from Indonesia, and records of other carnivores in the Schwaner Mountains, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Small Carnivore Conservation, 46: 1-7.
  • Van Rompaey, H., J. Azlan. 2004. Hose's Civet, Diplogale hosei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 30: 18-19.
  • Wilting, A., J. Fickel. 2012. Phylogenetic relationship of two threatened endemic viverrids from the Sunda islands, Hose's Civet and Sulawesi Civet. Journal of Zoology: 1-7.
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Range Description

Hose’s palm civet is endemic to the island of Borneo, found in Sabah, Sarawak (Malaysia) and Brunei (Francis 2002; Yasuma 2004; Wilson and Reeder 2005). In Sabah, this species was recorded in Mount Kinabulu National Park (Dinets 2003; Wells et al. 2005), in Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (Azlan pers. Obs. And Sabah Wildlife Department). In Brunei, the species has been recorded in Ulu Temburong National Park (Francis 2002; Yasuma 2004), as well as from Bukit Retak (deep within Ulu Temburong National Park, at 04 31 N, 115 10 E) in 1997 (Yasuma 2004). This civet’s full elevational range is thought to extend from 450 m (Francis 2002) to 1,700 m (Dinets 2003). The holotype is from Mount Dulit in northeastern Sarawak collected in 1,891 at 1,200 m (Van Rompaey and Azlan 2004).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Hose's civets are blackish-brown, with a long body and short legs. Its underparts are greyish or yellowish-white. It has long whiskers (over 15 cm long) and semi-webbed paws that have patches of short hair between the pads of their foot; both of these have been suggested as adaptations for foraging along stream and riverbanks and other moist areas. Its nose is very distinctive: the rhinarium is a contrasting color to the rest of the animal, and the protruding nostrils open at the sides of the nose. The tail is very long: while the head-body length is around 50 cm, the tail is often 30 cm or more in length. While variations in color have been noted, it is not known whether this is due to geographical or individual variations.

Range mass: 1.4 to 1.5 kg.

Range length: 76 to 89 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Thomas, O. 1892. On some mammals from Mount Dulit, North Borneo. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London: 221-227. Accessed November 14, 2012 at http://www.archive.org/stream/proceedingsofzoo1892zool#page/222/mode/1up.
  • Yasuma, S. 2004. Observations of a live Hose's Civet Diplogale hosei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 31: 3-5.
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Ecology

Habitat

Hose's civets are believed to primarily inhabit montane forests between 450 and 1500 m above sea level, with an additional sighting at 287 m. They are mainly a terrestrial species that forages along mossy stream banks, although some specimens have been collected from the forest canopy. The forests they inhabit are mostly mature mixed dipterocarp, but some sightings have been in recently logged areas, possibly indicating that they have some level of resilience to human activity.

Range elevation: 287 to 1800 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

  • Francis, C. 2002. An observation of Hose's Civet in Brunei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 26: 19.
  • Mathai, J., J. Hon, N. Juat, A. Peter, M. Gumal. 2010. Small carnivores in a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, Borneo. Small Carnivore Conservation, 42: 1-9.
  • Matsubayashi, H., H. Bernard, A. Ahmad. 2011. Small carnivores of the Imbak Canyon, Sabah, Malaysia, Borneo, including a new locality for Hose's Civet Diplogale hosei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 45: 18-22.
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Little is known of the ecology of Hose’s palm civet and further studies are required. Observations by Yasuma (2004) suggest the species is nocturnal and ground-dwelling, making dens in holes between rocks and/or tree roots.

Due to the few recorded sightings of this species in the wild, each in different forest types and elevations, the habitat preference and ecology of this species is difficult to characterize and remains largely unknown. Although it was formerly assumed to be strictly montane (e.g. Payne et al. 1985), several recent sightings suggest this species is wide-ranging in terms of elevation (Francis 2002, Van Rompaey and Azlan 2004, Azlan pers. comm.).This species has been recorded from primary lowland rainforest, montane forests, mature mixed dipterocarp forest hilltop and montane broadleaf forest (Payne et al, 1985; Dinets, 2003; Van Rompaey and Azlan, 2004; Yasuma, 2004; Wells et al., 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Trophic Strategy

No definite information about the diet of Hose's civets in the wild is known. The single individual that has been held in captivity ate mostly small fish, as well as chicken and lunchmeat, but refused fruit, rice, and fish that were too large to eat in a single bite or that had large scales or spines. This, along with their likely adaptations for foraging around streams, seems to indicate that fish make up most of their diet, along with other meat. Fruit and other plant matter probably only contributes significantly to their diet when fish or other meat is unavailable. The individual in captivity ate about 100 g of food daily, leaving any excess.

Animal Foods: birds; fish; aquatic crustaceans

Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Piscivore )

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Associations

Very little information exists about the ecosystem roles of Hose's civets. As it seems to live in extremely low densities, it is unlikely that it plays a major role in ecosystem dynamics, or that it is the principal predator, prey, or host of any particular species. As it doesn't seem to eat fruit, it is unlikely that it acts as a seed disperser.

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redators of Hose's civets have not been identified.

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Like other members of the civets, genets, linsangs, and relatives family, Hose's civets have glands for scent-marking; how extensively they use them, however, is unknown. Vocalizations have not been mentioned in any reported live observations.

Communication Channels: visual ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

As the only individual held in captivity was released after 2 and a half months, the lifespan of Hose's civets in captivity or the wild is not known.

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Reproduction

The mating system of Hose's civets is not known due to the elusive nature of the species and the lack of individuals in captivity.

Nothing is known about the reproductive behavior of Hose's civets. Other members of the civets and relative family generally give birth to two litters a year; the closely related banded palm civets are believed to usually give birth to 1 to 2 young, which are born altricial and require an extensive period of time to weaning.

Breeding interval: The breeding interval for Hose's civets is unknown.

Breeding season: The breeding season for Hose's civets is unknown.

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

The parental investment of Hose's civets is not known. The closely related banded palm civet gives birth to altricial young that nurse for around 70 days. Even for that somewhat more understood species, little is known about male parental investment.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

As they are very elusive animals, the exact status of Hose's civets is uncertain. It is likely, however, that they have been adversely impacted by human activity such as logging throughout their range. Low population densities could make them vulnerable to the region-wide habitat loss and degradation associated with logging and development. Because of this, the IUCN has listed them as Vulnerable. In Sarawak, Malaysia, they are listed as protected.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

  • Schipper, J., M. Hoffmann, J. Duckworth, J. Conroy. 2008. The 2008 IUCN red listings of the world's small carnivores. Small Carnivore Conservation, 39: 29-34.
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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2c+3c

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Hon, J. & Azlan, M.J.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Vulnerable because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (inferred to be 15 years) and suspected to be more than 30% in the next three generations - due to declines in population inferred from habitat destruction and degradation. Its area of occupancy is relatively small and continuing to decline as habitat disappears, thus it may in the future (when more is known of the distribution) also qualify for listing using criterion B. It is likely that the species could qualify for a higher threat category once further information is available on its ecology and threats – thus it is considered relatively urgent to conduct and promote further research on this species.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Indeterminate
    (Groombridge 1994)
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Population

Population
Almost nothing is known about population status and breeding status of Hose’s palm civet (Van Rompaey and Azlan, 2004)). As this species is known from only 17 individual museum specimens, it is either rare, its range in northern Borneo has not yet been thoroughly explored, or a combination of the two (Van Rompaey and Azlan 2004). The wide altitudinal spread of records suggests that the species ought to be common in collections; the fact that it is not suggests very strongly that something limits its population to be very localised in distribution, very low density, or both.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
As very little is known about Hose’s palm civet, it is difficult to characterize current threats (Azlan pers. comm.); nevertheless habitat loss and degradation have been assumed to be major threats to this species (Schreiber et al. 1989). Across its range, there has been loss and degradation of forests through logging and conversion of forests to non-forest land-uses. It is possible that hunting could pose a major threat, especially as population numbers and trends are unknown. This species was listed as ‘Threatened’ in the IUCN Action Plan for the Conservation of Mustelids and Viverrids since it is known from only 15 museum specimens (most recent specimen collected in 1955) and there were then no records of a live individual being spotted in the wild (Schreiber et al. 1989).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Hose’s palm civet is protected in Sarawak (Wildlife Protection Enactment 1998) and in Sabah (Wildlife Protection Enactment 1997). The species is known to occur in protected areas such as Mount Kinabulu National Park in Borneo where it was recorded in 2003-04 (Wells et al, 2005) and in 2002 (Dinets, 2003), as well as in Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei (Yasuma, 2004; Francis, 2002).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Just as there are no known direct economic benefits to humans provided by Hose's civets, there are also no known adverse impacts. It is unlikely that they are an important reservoir of diseases that affect humans, due to their low density and range being limited mostly unpopulated areas.

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There are no known direct economic benefits of Hose's civets, as they are almost unknown to humans and live in an unpopulated area. Other members of the civets, genets, linsangs, and relatives family are hunted or farmed for the secretions of their scent glands, which is a valuable substance in the making of perfumes; however, no record of harvesting Hose's civets for this purpose exists.

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Wikipedia

Hose's palm civet

Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei), also known as Hose's civet, is a civet species endemic to the island of Borneo. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (inferred to be 15 years) and suspected to be more than 30% in the next three generations due to declines in population inferred from habitat destruction and degradation.[2]

Diplogale is a monospecific genus.[1] Hose's palm civet was named after the zoologist Charles Hose by Oldfield Thomas in 1892. Hose collected the first specimen in Sarawak in 1891.[3]

What little is known of the species comes primarily from 17 museum specimens worldwide. Only in 1997, the first living specimen was obtained and released after 2 months – there remains no Hose’s civet in captivity anywhere in the world.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

The upperparts (from nose to tail tip, including outer surfaces of the four limbs) are dark brown to blackish brown and the underparts (from the chin to the tip of the tail and the inner surface of all four limbs) are white or slightly brownish white.[4][5] The face has dark rings around the eyes and very long, white facial whiskers (sensory hairs) and the large, wet snout (rhinarium) has a contrasting flesh colour. The two nostrils protrude widely, diverging to open on both sides.[4] The under surfaces of the feet are pale (flesh coloured) and the footpads are brown. The feet are partly webbed, with patches of short hair between the footpads.[5]

The Hose’s civet has a head-body length of 472–540 millimetres (18.6–21.3 in), a tail of 298–346 millimetres (11.7–13.6 in), a hind foot length of 74–81 millimetres (2.9–3.2 in) and an ear length of 36–39 millimetres (1.4–1.5 in); it is estimated to weigh about 1.4–1.5 kilograms (3.1–3.3 lb) and has 40 teeth.[4][5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Hose's civet has only been recorded from a few localities in Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, and in Brunei; it has not been recorded from Kalimantan.

There have been very few field sightings of the species, and these have been mainly from lower montane forest and mature mixed dipterocarp forest.[6]

A few recent sightings exist, including a capture in Brunei (which was subsequently released)[4] and a photo taken by a camera trap in lowland forest of Kinabalu National Park in Sabah.[7] Another camera trap picture taken in Kalimantan may represent this species, but has been the subject of controversy.[8]

The highest encounter rate of the species so far has been in the Sela’an-Linau Forest Management Unit (FMU), a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, where fourteen images of the Hose's civet were obtained between 2004 and 2005 from four different sites in the concession.[9] The previous largest series of encounters from one locality consisted of four specimens collected between 1945 and 1949 by Tom Harrisson in the nearby Kelabit Highlands,[10] suggesting that this part of Sarawak may be the prime habitat of the species.[11][9]

The few records of Hose’s civet from across its range have been mainly from montane forest sites,[4][5][11][12] giving rise to the assumption that it is a montane species. However, it has been reported from an altitude of only 450m in Brunei[13] and 600 metres (2,000 ft) in Batu Song, Sarawak;[5] an individual was camera trapped in the lowland forest of Mount Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, also at an altitude of only 600 metres (2,000 ft),[7] and one of the 14 images from the Sela’an-Linau FMU was from an altitude of 730 metres (2,400 ft).[11][9]

It may be that the preferred habitat of Hose's civet is highly humid, mossy forests, near mossy boulders and streams.[9]

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

The Hose’s civet is both crepuscular and nocturnal by nature and is thought to be of a more ground dwelling nature than other palm civets.[11][9] It is thought to make dens in holes between rocks and/or tree roots.[4]

Diet[edit]

Little is known about the diet of Hose’s civet in the wild, though it is thought to forage on small fish, shrimps, crabs, frogs and insects[4][10] among mossy boulders and streams. The sole individual ever in captivity ate only meat and fish and not fruit, the preferred diet of all other civets in Borneo.[4]

Threats[edit]

Habitat loss and degradation have been assumed to be major threats to this species.[14] Hose’s civet may be intolerant to disturbance caused by logging, though whether it is able to persist and/or disperse through forest fragmented by slash and burn fields and logging roads is still unknown.[11][9] Hunting could increasingly be a threat to the species as population numbers and trends are completely unknown. It is possible that the species could qualify for a higher threat category once more information is available on its ecology and threats. It is considered urgent to promote and conduct further research on this species.[2]

Conservation[edit]

Currently, the basic factors likely to determine the long-term future of the Hose’s civet, such as population densities, degree of dependency on old-growth forest, ranging and dispersal patterns and others, are entirely unknown, making specific conservation measures impossible.[11][9] No protected area within its range is known to hold a large population,[11] although in Brunei and Sabah, individuals have been recorded in Ulu Temburong National Park and Mount Kinabalu National Park, respectively. In Sarawak, no protected area is known to hold a population of the species. a listing which is completely inferential, based on its highly restricted range and extensive habitat loss (deforestation) and degradation within that range due to logging and conversion to non-forest land uses.[11]

Similar species[edit]

The Hose's civet is similar to the banded palm civet (Hemigalus derbyanus). Hose’s civet was first described as Hemigalus hosei in 1892 by Oldfield Thomas and it was only in 1912 that he found that the difference in shape of muzzle and teeth, as well as the obvious difference in the pattern of colouration, implied the necessity of distinguishing Diplogale from Hemigalus.[6] Like the Hose’s civet, the banded palm civet is strictly nocturnal and more ground dwelling;[11] the distribution of Hose’s civet, however, is much more restricted and more confined to higher altitude forest.

The large snout and long facial whiskers of Hose’s civet is similar to that of the otter civet (Cynogale bennettii). The otter civet is known to be semi-aquatic and has webbed feet; it occurs mainly in lowland rain forest.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 552. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c Hon, J. and Azlan, M. J. (2008). "Diplogale hosei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas, O. (1892). "On some Mammals from Mount Dulit, North Borneo". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 221–227. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yasuma, S. (2004). "Observations of a live Hose’s Civet Diplogale hosei". Small Carnivore Conservation 31: 3–5. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Payne, J.; Francis, C. M.; and Phillips, K. (1985). A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia. 
  6. ^ a b Van Rompaey, H.; Azlan, M. J. (2004). "Hose's Civet, Diplogale hosei". Small Carnivore Conservation 30: 18–19. 
  7. ^ a b Wells, K.; Bium, A.; & Gabin, M. (2005). "Viverrid and herpestid observations by camera and small cage trapping in the lowland rainforests on Borneo including a record of the Hose’s Civet, Diplogale hosei". Small Carnivore Conservation 32: 12–14. 
  8. ^ Chapron, G.; Veron, G. and Jennings, A. P. (2006). "New carnivore species in Borneo may not be new. Conservation News". Oryx 40 (2): 134. doi:10.1017/S0030605306000688. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Mathai, J. (2010). "Hose's Civet: Borneo's mysterious carnivore". Nature Watch 18/4: 2–8. 
  10. ^ a b Davis, D. D. (1958). "Mammals of the Kelabit plateau, northern Sarawak". Fieldiana Zoology 39: 119–147. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.3475. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mathai, J.; Hon, J.; Juat, N.; Peter, A.; Gumal, M. (2010). "Small carnivores in a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, Borneo". Small Carnivore Conservation 42: 1–9. 
  12. ^ Dinets, V. (2003). "Records of small carnivores from Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo". Small Carnivore Conservation 28: 9. 
  13. ^ Francis, C. M. (2002). "An observation of Hose's Civet in Brunei". Small Carnivore Conservation 26: 16. 
  14. ^ Schreiber, A.; Wirth, R.; Riffel, M.; Van Rompaey, H. (1989). Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives: an action plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 
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