Hose's civet (Diplogale hosei)

Also known as: Hose's palm civet
GenusDiplogale (1)
SizeHead-body length: 47 - 54 cm (2) (3)
Tail length: 29 - 35 cm (2) (3)
Weight1.4 - 1.5 kg (2) (3)

Hose's civet is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

The elusive Hose’s civet (Diplogale hosei) is so rare that it has only been caught on film once. Prior to 2004, the only descriptions of this species came from observations of fifteen museum specimens (2).

Hose’s civet has a long, sinewy body and short legs (4). The elongated head has a pointed muzzle, with long facial whiskers (4).

The fur is blackish-brown on the upperparts, and greyish or yellowish-white on the cheeks, sides of the forehead and underparts (2) (4). The thinly-haired ears are white on the inside (4).

Hose’s civet is endemic to the island of Borneo, where it occurs in Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia) and Brunei (1).

Little is known about the habitat of the rarely-seen Hose’s civet (5). It has been recorded in forest, in places where the ground was exceedingly wet and moss covered the rocks and trees (2). It is thought to inhabit areas at elevations between 450 and 1,700 metres (5) (6).

Although little is known about Hose’s civet, it is assumed to be a nocturnal animal that rests by day in holes in rocks and tree roots. When it leaves its resting place at night, it possibly forages on small fish, shrimp, crabs and frogs near streams. It also may catch insects and other small animals on the mossy ground (2).

It is likely that habitat loss and degradation are major threats to Hose’s civet, as throughout Borneo, forests have been lost to logging and converted for other land-uses (7) (8).  

The conversion of forest to palm oil plantations is of particular concern (8). As the demand for palm oil, which is used for food products, detergents, cosmetics and biofuel, grows, the pressure on Borneo’s forests is likely to increase (9).

Hose’s civet is legally protected in both Sarawak and Sabah (1). It is also known to occur in a number of protected areas, such as Mount Kinabulu National Park in Sabah and Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei (1), which may offer its habitat some protection. 

Learn about conservation in Borneo:

 Discover more about palm oil:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
  2. Yasuma, S. (2004) Observations of a live Hose’s civet Diplogale hosei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 31: 5-7.
  3. Payne, J., Francis, C.M. and Phillips, K. (1985) A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society, Malaysia.
  4. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  5. Francis, C.M. (2002). An observation of Hose's civet in Brunei. Small Carnivore Conservation, 26: 16.
  6. Dinets, V. (2003) Records of small carnivores from Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo. Small Carnivore Conservation, 28: 9.
  7. Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. (1989) Weasels, Civets, Mongooses and their Relatives: An Action Plan for the Conservation of Mustelids and Viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  8. WWF - Borneo Forests (June, 2011)
  9. WWF - Palm Oil (June, 2011)