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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Hose's Civet

Family : Viverridae
Species : Diplogale hosei

Head-body length : up to 50 cm
Tail length : up to 32 cm
Weight : up to 3 kg

Hose's Civet is one of the most elusive and least-understood species of civet in Southeast Asia. It is endemic to Borneo, and is only patchily distributed on that island.

A predictive study of the possible range of Hose's Civet suggests that much less than 10% of the land area of Borneo may contain this species, namely the mountainous region in the north. Within this area, there are a number of confirmed records from Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah, but limited records from Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

Significant efforts are being made to study this rare civet by a research project (HOSCAP Borneo) in a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, where it is often photographed by automatically-triggered trail cameras (Mathai et al, 2010).

Data published in 2010 from this ongoing study have shown Hose's Civet to be largely nocturnal, but also active towards dusk (i.e. partly crepuscular). It appears to occur mainly in undisturbed or unlogged montane forest, however the degree to which it has been lost  from adjacent lowland forests, due to logging, habitat fragmentation and indiscriminate hunting, appears unclear. Phillipps & Phillipps (2016) quote an altitudinal range of 325 to 1700 metres.

This unique civet is dark brown to very dark grey, with pale underparts. Its body shape and size is similar to the Banded Civet (which also occurs on Borneo) i.e. relatively slender and with a head that is relatively small and pointed. Its tail is long and thick.

Little is known about the ecology of Hose's Civet. Its diet may comprise a range of small vertebrates (possibly frogs, crabs, shrimps, fish etc.): this is inferred from its long whiskers and partly webbed feet, which may indicate that it forages along rocky, forest streams (Mathai et al, 2016).

Figs 1 and 2 : Trail camera image from Upper Baram area, Sarawak.   Photos thanks to J. Mathai / HOSCAP Borneo.

References : M12


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.

Mathai, J., Brodie, J., Giordano, A., Alfred, R., Belant, J. L., Kramer-Schadt, S. & Wilting, A. (2016). Predicted distribution of Hose's civet Diplogale hosei (Mammalia: Carnivora: Viverridae) on Borneo. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 33: 118-125.

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Fig 1
ゥ  J. Mathai / HOSCAP Borneo
Fig 2
ゥ  J. Mathai / HOSCAP Borneo