Overview

Distribution

Western Malaysia, Sumatra, Bornea, Java, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

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Range Description

The species is found in Peninsular Malaysia (Ratnam et al., 1995; Azlan, 2003; Kawanishi and Sunquist, 2004; Laidlaw pers. comm.), southern Myanmar (Than Zaw et al, in press), Borneo (Wells et al., 2005) and Sumatra (Holden, 2006), southern Thailand, peninsular Malayasia, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, as well as on Bangka and Belitung Islands (Van Rompaey 1993). On Java, it has been suggested to be probably restricted to the mountains in the west (e.g. Mt. Halimun, see Suyanto, 2003), but there are two historical specimens from the Ijang plateau in East Java (held in Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), and, given very low levels in recent decades of small carnivore survey in Java (see, e.g., Riffel 1991), the species could still occur on other mountains in Java. On Borneo and Sumatra, it is probably widespread, although it is unclear whether the species occurs in Central Kalimantan swamps (not reported from Sebangau or Tanjung Puting). It was found up to 1100 m on Java by Bartels (1941) . This species was recorded up to 1800 m in Mount Kinabulu National Park in Borneo Payne et al. (1998). It was recorded by Azlan (2003) in Jerangau Forest Reserve (04 55.5 N, 103 05.7 E) in Peninsular Malaysia in 2000-01. In Sumatra, it has been found up to 2,400 m (Holden 2006) in Kerinci Seblat NP.

The most northerly record is at 15° 20'N (Steinmetz and Simcharoen 2006). The record at 17° 54'N (Humphrey and Bain 1990) in northern-central Thailand is probably erroneous (Steinmetz and Simcharoen 2006). On the basis of portrayal in picture-guides alone, this species can be readily confused with spotted linsang.
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Physical Description

Morphology

The body of the banded linsang is 40 cm long, and the tail is about 34 cm. Banded linsangs are very pale yellow with five large transverse dark bands on their backs. They have broad stripes on their necks with small elongate spots and stripes on their flanks. The tail has seven or eight dark bands and ends in a dark tip. Banded linsangs have retractile claws which are very sharp, and have specialized razor-sharp teeth for shearing their food. The soles of their feet have hair between the pads and their toes. (Cincinatti Zoo, 1997)

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 700 g.

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Ecology

Habitat

Banded linsangs live in tropical rainforests. They spend a large portion of their time in the trees.

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Little is known about the ecology of this species. It has been recorded in primary and secondary forest and occasionally in human inhabited areas (Van Rompaey, 1993; Ratnam et al., 1995; Azlan, 2003; Kawanishi and Sunquist, 2004; Wells et al., 2005). It has been found up to 2,400 m (Bartels, 1941; Payne et al., 1998;. Holden, 2006).

It is nocturnal and generally arboreal, though it does come to the ground in search of food; its diet consists of birds, tree rats, snakes, and any other small animal it can catch (Lekagul and McNeely 1977; Van Rompaey pers. comm.). An analysis of stomach contents by Lim (1973) indicates that this species hunts mostly in disturbed forests and forest edge habitats (Lekagul and McNeely 1977). According to Lim (1973) it may respond favorably to secondary growth and ecotonal habitats. It is found in primary and secondary forest, plus fringe and occasionally human inhabitated areas (Van Rompaey pers. comm.). It breeds in February and August, with litters of two young (Nowak, 1999). It has lived up to ten years and eight months in captivity (Jones, 1982). This species was recorded from primary lowland rainforest in Mount Kinabulu National Park by Wells et al (2005). It was recorded in disturbed habitat in Malaysia by Ratnam et al (1995).

In northeastern Peninsular Malaysia and in Sarawak, it is found in secondary forest, including forest adjacent to palm plantations (Azlan pers. comm.).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Trophic Strategy

Banded linsangs are omnivorous. A main part of their diet consists of small vertebrates such as squirrels, rats, birds and lizards. (LA Natural History Museum, 1997)

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
10.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
10.7 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Observations: One wild born animal was about 12 years old when it died in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005). Nonetheless, not much is known about the longevity of these animals.
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Reproduction

Very little is known about these animals' reproduction behavior.

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

Average birth mass: 40 g.

Average number of offspring: 2.25.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

CITES Appendix II.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Duckworth, J.W. & Azlan, M.J.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern, although this species may be undergoing at least localised population reductions there is no evidence or suspicion of declines at a rate sufficient to qualify it even as Near Threatened at this time. There is no evidence that it is a target species in hunting or trade, so inference of decline would come by association with habitat trends. Available information suggests significant tolerance of encroachment and even use of plantations, implying that population decline rates will be lower than forest loss rates. In any case, the species' wide altitudinal range puts it outside the altitudinal bands of major Sundaic forest conversion (reviewed in BirdLife International 2001).
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Population

Population
The population status is poorly known, but various authors have considered this species uncommon or rare (Chasen, 1940; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1961; Davis, 1962; Lim, 1973; Lekagul and McNeely, 1977; Van Rompaey 1993).

In Myanmar, it is known from only two individuals recorded in 1878 by Blanford (Van Rompaey pers. comm.), also from 5 recent records in southern Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. in press); the records included presence at all surveyd sites within its historical range. It is considered rare and localized in Thailand (Chasen, 1940; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1961; Davis, 1962; Lim, 1973; Lekagul and McNeely 1977, Steinmetz and Simcharoen 2006). In Peninsular Malaysia it is widespread at all elevations but is nowhere common (Medway, 1969), two years of camera trapping revealed only a single photo in Taman Negara National Park (Kawanishi and Sunquist 2004), partly because it is small and semi-arboreal, making it difficult to capture on camera. Morphs may be confused with other species (Azlan 2006). On Java, this species is considered rare (or difficult to observe) by Bartels (1941). On Borneo, it is also infrequently recorded (Medway, 1965; Payne et al, 1985). In Sumatra (Holden 2006), it was photo trapped infrequently, but this is not indicative of rarity. In summary, throughout its range, it is widespread, but due to its small size and semi arboreal nature, it has been infrequently recorded, and thus its population status is difficult to assess.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Habitat loss and degradation were assessed as a threat to this species (Schreiber et al., 1989), and deforestation has been said to be a threat to this species in Thailand (Van Rompaey 1993), however, little is known on its tolerance to disturbance. In Borneo, the overall density of civets (including the banded linsang) in logged forests was found to be significantly lower than in primary forests (Heydon and Bulloh, 1996). Various observers have found the species in edge and degraded habitats, both historically and recently, with Lim (1973) even speculating that it benefits from secondary growth and ecotonal areas. This makes it difficult to infer a population trend based around the recent and ongoing rapid forest degradation over much of its range. Old-growth forest has been cleared very rapidly throughout the lowland Sundaic region in the last 20 years (e.g. BirdLife International, 2001; Holmes, 2000; Jepson et al. 2001; McMorrow and Talip, 2001; Lambert and Collar, 2002; Curran et al. 2004; Fuller, 2004; Eames et al. 2005, Aratrakorn et al. 2006; Kinnaird et al. 2003) but this has primarily been in the lower altitudes; this species' wide altitudinal range means that significant proportion of the population is outside these areas of very rapid clearance. Also in Thailand, live animals have been traded in the past, as seven were reported by CITES in 1980 (from Thailand to USA) (Van Rompaey 1993), in the last decade, however, there has been no commercial trade reported through CITES.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is listed on CITES Appendix II. In Thailand, the Wild Animals Preservation Protection Act (WAPPA, 1992) protects this species from hunting and regulates trade (Van Rompaey, 1993). In Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah it receives full protection, but in Sarawak it is only partially protected (Aslan pers. comm.). It is a totally protected species in Myanmar (WPA 1994). This species has been recorded in some protected areas (Ratnam et al., 1995; Azlan, 2003; Wells et al., 2005; Azlan and Engkamat, 2006). Field surveys, ecological studies and monitoring of threats are needed. This species was recorded from Mount Kinabulu National Park in Borneo in 2003-04 (Wells et al. 2005). It was also recorded from Temengor Forest Reserve in Malaysia by Ratnam et al. (1995). This species has also been recorded in Lambir Hill National Park in Sarawak (Azlan and Engkaamat, 2006). It was recorded from Jerangau Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia in 2000-01 (Azlan, 2003).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

none noted

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Potentially important as an attraction to ecotourism. The Banded Linsang is found in many parks and reserves throughout Thailand, and they could be a draw for wildlife observers.

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