Over the past year, I have been conducting a study of the common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) as part of my honours thesis. I am very grateful for your help in supporting and responding to the civet awareness survey – thank you very much!
Let me take this opportunity to share with you some interesting highlights from the project:
Only one common civet today
Since the 19th century, nine species of civets have been recorded from Singapore, however, only the common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is common in Singapore today and is even present in some urban neighbourhoods.
A very special hotspot
Siglap/Opera Estate is a special area in Singapore and was identified as a hotspot for the common palm civets. It is here that we conducted visual transects, camera trapping, civet faeces analysis and spatial analysis modeling.
Activity and diet
We found that urban civets in Siglap were unusually active in the day (compared to forest civets elsewhere). Urban civets ate a wide variety of animals (including rats and squirrels) and fruits (mangoes, bananas and Rain tree (Samanea saman) seed pods).
Relocate but not fearful
The online/mail-back survey results revealed that 70% of respondent would choose to relocate civets if they were found in their homes, however, a majority (92%) did not deem civets to be harmful.
Research and education efforts continue
The research still continues and we (my thesis supervisor N. Sivasothi, myself and future honours students) will further examine the diet of the civet in urban and forest environments. We will also continue to collect civet sighting records through the public feedback form at: http://mammal.sivasothi.com/. Talks and exhibitions will be conducted to help educate people about Singapore’s last urban native carnivore, the Common Palm Civet.
Thank you for helping us learn more about the urban civets. We hope to find ways to allow humans and civets to co-exist peacefully and celebrate the very special continued existence of the Common Palm Civet in Singapore.
I hope you will enjoy the pictures of Mr Kinky-tail and one of the baby civets we encountered during the survey!