Southeast Asian Palm Civet

Paradoxurus musangus

The Southeast Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus musangus), commonly referred to as the musang or common palm civet, is a viverrid native to Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. These animals are notable for their adaptability to a variety of habitats, including forests and urban areas, and their role in the coffee production process, particularly for the famous kopi luwak.

The Southeast Asian Palm Civet is a medium-sized mammal with a long body, a pointed snout, and a bushy tail. It has a grayish to brown coat with a pattern of black and white spots and stripes, which provides camouflage in its natural habitat.






















Paradoxurus musangus

Other Information

A Danger to Humans?

These civets are generally not dangerous to humans. They are shy and elusive, and their interactions with humans are minimal unless their habitat is encroached upon. However, they can defend themselves with teeth and claws if threatened.

Population Status

Exact population sizes are unknown; however, the species is not currently listed as endangered. Their adaptability to different environments, including human-dominated landscapes, helps maintain their population.

Life Span:
In the wild, Southeast Asian Palm Civets can live for about 10-15 years. In captivity, with proper care, they may live slightly longer.

Weight and Length:
These civets typically weigh between 2 to 5 kg (4.4 to 11 lbs) and measure about 53 to 71 cm in length, with a tail almost equal to the body length, adding another 48 to 66 cm.

Southeast Asian Palm Civets are widely distributed across Southeast Asia, including countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Bali, Java), and the Philippines. They are also found in parts of northeastern India and Bhutan.

Habits and Lifestyle:
Palm civets are nocturnal and solitary outside of breeding seasons. They are arboreal as well as terrestrial and are known for their ability to adapt to various environments, including urban areas. They are excellent climbers and spend a significant amount of time in trees.

Diet and Nutrition:
Their diet is omnivorous, consisting of fruits, berries, coffee cherries, insects, small mammals, and occasionally birds. Their role in the production of kopi luwak coffee, where the civets eat the coffee cherries and pass the beans in their feces, is well-known, albeit controversial due to ethical concerns regarding their captivity.

Mating Habits:
Southeast Asian Palm Civets are generally solitary but come together during the mating season. Females usually give birth to 2-3 offspring after a gestation period of about 60-70 days. The young are cared for by the mother until they are old enough to fend for themselves.