Endangered civets spotted in central Vietnam

By Toan Dao   September 18, 2016 | 01:02 am PT
Camera traps have been used to capture images of the rare and elusive carnivores.

A large-spotted civet, a species that was believed to be extinct in Vietnam, has been spotted in the Phong Dien Nature Reserve in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue.

The civet is one of nine rare species found using camera traps set up by the nature reserve and the Viet Nature Conservation Center, according to a joint statement released recently.

The species are all named on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Another rare civet, the Owston’s civet, was also spotted during the surveys. This species was discovered for the first time in Thua Thien-Hue last year.

The Owstons Civet spotted during the surveys. Photo from Phong Dien Nature Reserve

The Owston’s Civet spotted during the surveys. Photo from Phong Dien Nature Reserve

“The records of these two extremely rare civets in Phong Dien are very important for conservation research and planning in the area," said Le Trong Trai, director of the Viet Nature Conservation Center. "It indicates that hunting and trapping activities are relatively less rampant in Phong Dien than in many other sites in North Central Vietnam.” 

The large-spotted civet and Owston's civet were both recategorized on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from Vulnerable to Endangered in June this year.

Endangered is the second-highest category of threat on the Red List, and of the approximately 170 species of small carnivores worldwide, only 10 others are ranked as Endangered or in the higher category of Critically Endangered, according to J. W. Duckworth, a senior expert at the IUCN.

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