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Brown palm civet

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Title: Brown palm civet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Helogale, Somalian slender mongoose, Black-footed mongoose, Burmese ferret-badger, Indian brown mongoose
Collection: Mammals of India, Viverrids
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Brown palm civet

Brown palm civet[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Paradoxurus
Species: P. jerdoni
Binomial name
Paradoxurus jerdoni
Blanford, 1885
Brown palm civet range

The brown palm civet (Paradoxurus jerdoni) also called the Jerdon's palm civet is a civet endemic to the Western Ghats of India. There are two subspecies, the nominate P. j. jerdoni and P. j. caniscus.[1] The Sulawesi palm civet is sometimes referred to by the same English name due to its brown colour.[3]


  • Distribution 1
  • Description 2
  • Diet 3
  • Behaviour 4
  • Conservation 5
  • References 6


Brown palm civet in its natural habitat from Munnar, Kerala.

The brown palm civet's distribution extends from the southern tip of Western Ghats in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve to Castle Rock in Goa to the north.[4] They are nocturnal, and not as rare as previously thought and sight records of the species in Kodaikanal and Ootacamund where they were earlier considered to be locally extinct are an indication of their ability to go unnoticed.[5]


The brown palm civet has a uniformly brown

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  2. ^ Muddapa D. & Choudbury, A. (2008). Paradoxurus jerdoni. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
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The brown palm civet is a key mammalian seed disperser in the Western Ghats rainforest by being predominantly frugivorous and dispersing a diverse array of plant species.[10] Their large range and presence within several protected areas have led them to be classified as being of low conservation concern.[13] The brown palm civet occurs in fragmented landscapes containing remnants of tropical rainforest amid commercially exploited land patches such as tea and coffee plantations. Their ability to persist in such landscapes depends on the occurrence of a diversity of fruit tree species in these areas (e.g., shade trees in coffee plantations).[14] However, these areas often do not have large mammalian dispersers and birds like hornbills and large pigeons due to habitat loss and hunting. Hence, the brown palm civet gains importance in such human-impacted landscapes as an important disperser and maintains biodiversity.


Brown palm civets are solitary and nocturnal. They rest during the day in day-bed sites, such as tree hollows, canopy vine tangles, Indian giant squirrel nests and forks of branches. The day-bed trees are large and are usually in dense mature forest stands with high canopy connectivity. They sometimes rest in the night in open branches.[12]


The brown palm civet is predominantly frugivorous. Fruits form a large proportion (97 per cent) of its diet and more than 53 native and four introduced species of plants have been recorded. The diet patterns vary across years and even within the same year. They adapt to climatic variations in fruit availability by feeding on a diverse range of species of invertebrates and vertebrates. They eat fruits of trees and lianas, rarely those of herbs or shrubs. The diet is mostly composed of small (<1 cm diameter), many seeded, pulpy berries, and drupes with moderate to high water content, along with several large (>2 cm) fruits like Palaquium ellipticum, Elaeocarpus serratus, Holigarna nigra, and Knema attenuata.[10] They have also been recorded feeding on flowers such as those of Cullenia exarillata[11] and Syzygium species.[10]

Dentition. The anterior palatine foramina are longer than in other species in the genus.[6]


Illustration by Joseph Smit (1885)


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