Owston's palm civet

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Owston's palm civet
Chrotogale owstoni PWP.jpg
Owston's palm civets in captivity
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Chrotogale
Thomas, 1912
C. owstoni
Binomial name
Chrotogale owstoni
(Thomas, 1912)
Owston's Palm Civet area.png
Owston's palm civet range

Owston's palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni) is a civet native to Vietnam, Laos and southern China. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 50% over the last three generations, inferred from over-exploitation, habitat destruction and degradation. [1]


Chrotogale is a monospecific genus. [2] Owston's palm civet is named after the wildlife collector Alan Owston. [3]


The Owston's palm civet is a mid-sized palm civet at 57 cm (23 in), plus a tail of 43 cm (17 in). With its pointed face, it is sometimes thought to resemble a large insectivore, such as a shrew. It has a tawny buff-grey body with highly contrasted black markings on its back and tail. They usually only have 4 bands on their back. The last two-thirds of the tail is completely black. They look somewhat like the banded palm civet, Hemigalus derbyanus, except for that the hair on the back of their neck are not reversed, and the Owston's has spots on its legs.[ citation needed ]

Distribution and habitat

Owston's palm civet lives in the forests and wooded lowland river basins of northern Vietnam, northern Laos and southern China.[ citation needed ]

Ecology and behaviour

Very little is known about their life history in the wild, though limited information has been gathered on captive animals. They feed mostly on earthworms and other invertebrates. The mating season is apparently in late January. After a gestation period of 3 months, a litter of 1-3 young are born.[ citation needed ]


In captivity

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program, based at Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam, runs an international conservation and breeding programme for them in cooperation with various zoos including Newquay Zoo.[ citation needed ]

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Alan Owston (1853–1915) was born on 7 August 1853 at Pirbright, Surrey and was buried on 30 November 1915 at Yokohama in Japan. He was a collector of Asian wildlife, businessman and yachtsman, and founded the Yokohama Yacht Club in Japan. Alan Owston left England for Asia in 1871, working as a merchant in Japan and was also busy as an amateur naturalist.


  1. 1 2 Timmins, R.J.; Coudrat, C.N.Z.; Duckworth, J.W.; Gray, T.N.E.; Robichaud, W.; Willcox, D.H.A.; Long, B. & Roberton, S. (2016). "Chrotogale owstoni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2016: e.T4806A45196929. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Genus Chrotogale". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 552. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  3. Thomas, O. (1912). "Two new Genera and a Species of Viverrine Carnivora". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. Part II: 498–503.