A Himalayan Palm Civet (Puguma larvata Himlton-Smith, 1827) was found dead after being electrocuted on 27 September 2016 at Kurizam, Mongar in a Chirpine forest (N27°16′21.1″, E091°11′36.3″, 569m) near its human settlement. One of the residents reported the incident through a phone to the Central Park Range Office, Phrumsengla National Park.
Himalayan Palm Civet belongs to Carnivora of family, Viverridae. It has white whiskers, uniform grey to tawny and it’s under parts are white, under wool is brownish or grey or sooty. There is white band on the forehead and nose. Another band is found beneath the ears passing over the cheeks. It measures 40-70cm long with tail length of 40-55cm and weighs about 3-6kg. It is a nocturnal, arboreal and largely solitary and lives in tree holes (Buhuguma & Mallick, 2010).
When distracted by the predators, the animal releases scent from its anal gland and shows its masked face to deter the predators. It’s an omnivore feeding on rats and birds as well as on fruit such as figs, mangoes, bananas, and leaves. 1-4 litters are born during the summer month. The gestation period is more than two months (Bahuguma & Mallick, 2010).
This animal is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand and Vietnam. In China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand, the animal is protected under law. In India, it is listed on CITES Appendix III. IUCN in 2008 had classified the animal as a Least Concern while China listed it as a Near Threatened. Hunting and habitat destruction areas are the two potential major threats to the survival of this animal in its range. Particularly, in Vietnam and South China, the animal is hunted for local consumption.
The detailed photographs and morphometric measurements of the incident were recorded for future reference.
Contributed by Jangchuk Gyeltshen, Park Range Officer, Lingmethang, Mongar
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