Tuesday 21 May
Palawan stink badger (Mydaus marchei)
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Palawan stink badger fact file
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Palawan stink badger description
This peculiar-looking mammal has an elongated, mobile snout that looks like that of a pig (3) (4), but a well-furred body and clawed, stout forelimbs that look more like that of a badger (3). The soft fur on the back of the Palawan stink badger is brown to black, peppered with a few silver or white hairs, and the fur on the underside is brown (3). It has a pointed face, small ears and eyes, and well-developed anal scent glands (3), which, as its name suggests, secrete a foul-smelling fluid (4). The Palawan stink badger is one of only two stink badgers in existence, (animals belonging to the genus Mydaus), the other species being the Sunda stink badger (Mydaus javanensis) (2).
- Suillotaxus marchei. Top
- Conservation International - Biodiversity Hotspots:
- IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
- Nowak, R.M. (2005) Walker’s Carnivores of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
- Hwang, Y.T. and Larivière, S. (2004) Mydaus marchei. Mammalian Species, 757: 1 - 3.
- Rabor, D.S. (1986) Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna. Natural Resources Management Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines.
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Palawan stink badger biology
Active by both day and night, the Palawan stink badger moves with a somewhat cumbersome walk (2), intermittently lowering its head to the ground as if smelling for the correct direction (4). The Palawan stink badger has a number of lines of defence. It may turn its hind parts towards the threatening animal, approach to a suitable distance and then squirt a jet of foul-smelling, yellowish fluid from its anal glands. At other times, the Palawan stink badger may ‘play dead’, before ejecting the stinking secretion over the unsuspecting intruder (2). The putrid stench of the secretion does not dissipate for some time (4).
Like the other stink badger species, the Palawan stink badger probably rests in burrows, either dug by itself or one excavated by a porcupine (2). While the diet of stink badgers is not clear, it is thought that they feed mainly on insects that are encountered as they walk along the ground or amongst the undergrowth. Captive stink badgers have fed on worms, insects and the entrails of chickens (2).Top
Palawan stink badger range
The Palawan stink badger occurs in the Palawan and Calamian Islands, Philippines (2).Top
Palawan stink badger habitat
Grassland thickets, cultivated areas (2), as well as forest, are all suitable habitats for the Palawan stink badger. It is often found close to rivers and creeks, where it is seen among vegetation on the banks (4).Top
Palawan stink badger status
Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Palawan stink badger threats
The Palawan stink badger is threatened by the loss of its habitat, as humans encroach on its already restricted distribution (1) (2). Hunting may also pose a threat; some local people eat the flesh of stink badgers, provided the scent glands are removed immediately after the animal has been killed, or sometimes, shavings of the stink badger’s skin mixed with water is drunk in the belief it is a cure for fever or rheumatism (2).Top
Palawan stink badger conservation
There are currently no conservation measures known to be in place for this vulnerable species.Top
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