Over the course of our study, we have discovered that many forest dependent carnivores remain scientifically neglected. Most notably among these is the African palm civet. It is the only living species in the family Nandiniidae and they are not actually related to Asian palm civets or the African civet. They possess several unique adaptations: they are able to descend trees headfirst and hang from their hind feet. They are able to bend the ‘fingers’ on their semi-digitigrade paws in order to grab onto branches and food. Other than diet, there have been no published studies on the ecology of the species since Charles-Dominique (1978). Even though this forest dependent species is threatened by deforestation, it has been given a rating of Least Concern (IUCN Red List). If funding permits, we will be studying these and other small carnivores in Kibale to provide missing data on basic ecology and how they may have adapted to the absence of leopards and rapid increase in human population densities.
African palm civet videos
African palm civet and mouse© D. R. Mills/Panthera/WCS African palm civet taking bait© D. R. Mills/Panthera/WCS