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







Sulawesi Palm Civet

Family : Viverridae
Species : Macrogalidia musschenbroekii

Head-body length : up to 89 cm
Tail length : up to 64 cm
Weight : up to 6 kg

The Sulawesi Palm Civet (or 'Brown Palm Civet') is the lone endemic carnivoran on the island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago. (Two other species of civet are known from the island, both being  introduced - the Malay Civet and the Common Palm Civet, with the latter rarely being seen.)

This species appears to be rare and its distribution is patchy: it appears to be largely restricted to old-growth, primary forest from sea level to 2600 metres elevation, but is known to stray beyond the confines of such forest and venture into agricultural areas.

It appears to be mainly nocturnal and largely arboreal in habits, which may account for the paucity of sightings. It is omnivorous, consuming a variety of palm fruits as well as vertebrate prey such as rodents and small birds.

This relatively large civet has short, brownish-grey fur with darker markings on the posterior part of the back. The tail is patterned with light and dark rings. Its head and snout are pointed and its ears are rounded and erect.

The main threat to the survival of this species is continued forest loss. Individuals are sometimes killed by farmers in retaliation for the loss of livestock (presumably chickens).

The Sulawesi Palm Civet is known from the northern, central and southeastern parts of the island. In 2018 its continued presence in the Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park of North Sulawesi was confirmed.

Fig 1 : Sulawesi Palm Civet from Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.  This image was acquired during a joint patrol of staff of Wildlife Conservation Society and Taman Nasional Bogani Nani Wartabone on 7th March 2018. Photo courtesy TNBNW-WCS.

Fig 2 : View of hill forest habitat at the eastern boundary of Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park.  Photo thanks to Kelvin Lim.

References :


Links :

Sulawesi Palm Civet Discovered in Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park (BNWNP).


Fig 1
Fig 2
ゥ  Kelvin Lim