Saturday, November 24, 2012

African Palm Civet

African Palm Civet | The African palm civet (also known as the two-spotted palm civet) is a species of civet natively found in the jungles of eastern Africa. Unlike the other civet species which are all very closely related to one another, the African palm civet is in a genetic group of its own making it the most distinct among the civet species.
The African palm civet is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and forest across much of eastern African and is even found parts of central and western Africa, where native habitats exist. The African palm civet however is being threatened in much of it's natural habitat due to deforestation causing destruction to or total loss of their historical regions.

Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, the African palm civets are not felines at all but are in fact more closely related to other small carnivores including weasels and mongooses. One of the African palm civets most distinctive features are their light-tan to yellow coloured fur which is mottled with a series of darker brown spots. The muzzle of the African palm civet is sharply pointed as with other civet species.

The African palm civet is a
solitary animal that only comes out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. These nocturnal animals are primarily tree-dwelling creatures that spend most of the daylight hours resting in the safety of the trees. Despite being generally very solitary creatures, the African palm civet has been known to gather in groups of up to 15 members.

The African palm civet is an omnivorous animal, and like other species of civet, it survives on a diet comprised of both plants and other animals. Small animals such as rodents, lizards, snakes and frogs make up the majority of the African palm civet's diet, along with insects, berries and fallen fruits that it finds on the forest floor..

Despite being a secretive yet a relatively ferocious predator, the
African 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 African palm civet including lions and leopards along with reptiles such as large snakes and crocodiles.

The female African 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. African palm civets can live for up to 20 years, although most rarely get to be this old.

Today, the African 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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