Sunday, January 2, 2011

Asian Palm Civet

True Wild Life | Asian Palm Civet | The Asian palm civet is a smaller species of civet found throughout the jungles of Asia, and easily recognisable by its dark, coarse hair and large eyes. The Asian palm civet is also known as the common palm civet and the Toddy Cat is areas where the Asian palm civet is natively found. The Asian palm civet is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and rainforests throughout much of Asia. The main populations of the Asian palm civet however are found in southern India, Sri Lanka, South-east Asia and southern China. Unfortunately, Asian palm civets have been drastically affected by increasing deforestation (and therefore habitat loss) in their native regions.

The Asian palm civet is widely spread and fairly commonly found throughout much of Asia and despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, Asian palm civets are not felines at all but are in fact more closely related to other small carnivores including weasels and mongooses. Unlike other civet species the tail of the Asian palm civet does not have rings, but the face of this species is banded like that of a raccoon. The Asian palm civet is solitary animal that only comes out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. These nocturnal animals are primarily ground-dwelling and highly terrestrial as they mark their ranges by dragging their anal glands along the ground. Despite being predominately ground-dwelling though the Asian palm civet is known to climb up into the trees either in search of food or to hide from approaching predators.

The Asian palm civet is a carnivorous animal, and like other species of civet, it survives on a meat-based diet, supplemented by the odd plant or fruit. Small animals such as rodents, lizards, snakes and frogs make up the majority of the Asian palm civet's diet, along with insects and other small creatures scuttling through the under-growth. Asian palm civets are also known to eat the fruits and flowers of palms, mangos and coffee in their natural habitats. Despite being a secretive yet relatively ferocious predatory animal, the Asian palm civet is actually preyed upon by a number of predators within their natural environment. Large predatory cats are the most common predators of the Asian palm civet including tigers and leopards along with reptiles such as large snakes and crocodiles.

The female Asian palm civet usually gives birth to up to 4 young after a gestation period that lasts for a couple of months. The babies are weaned by their mother until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. Asian palm civets can live for up to 20 years, although most rarely get to be this old. Today, the Asian palm civet is under threat from deforestation and therefore drastic loss of much of its natural habitat. The main reason for such extensive deforestation in the area is either for logging or to clear the land to make way for palm oil plantations.

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