Nashville Zoo recently welcomed the birth of two Banded Palm Civets. The brother and sister were born on June 29.
At their first well check, the male measured 19 cm (7.5 in) with a weight of 105g (3.7 oz). The female’s body length was 20.5cm (8 in) with a weight of 100g (3.5 oz).
Photo Credits: Dr. Heather Robertson/Nashville Zoo
For the past decade, this is only the second successful birth in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institution for the species. The first Banded Palm Civet birth was also at Nashville Zoo in September 2015.
Nashville Zoo is the only AZA accredited facility breeding this species. There are now a total of 11 Banded Palm Civets in the AZA’s collection, with ten being at Nashville Zoo and one at Cincinnati Zoo.
Nashville Zoo is heading a breeding research project to determine if Banded Palm Civets are seasonal breeders, as well as discovering other factors for fecundity.
The Banded Palm Civet (Hemigalus derbyanus), also called the Banded Civet, is rare species found in tropical forests across Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and on the Indonesian islands of Sipura, Sumatra and Borneo.
Roughly the size of a domestic cat, adults of the species measure from 41 to 51 cm (1.3 to 1.7 ft) in total length, and can weigh between 1 to 3 kg (2.2 to 6.6 lbs).
The Banded Palm Civet is carnivorous, and like other species of civet, it survives on a meat-based diet, supplemented by the plants or fruits.
After a gestation period that lasts for a couple of months, a female can give birth to up to four young.
The Banded Pam Civet is currently listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. It is under threat from deforestation and the loss of much of its natural habitat. Extensive deforestation in their habitat is a result of logging or to clear the land to make way for palm oil plantations.
Nashville Zoo currently does not have plans to place the Banded Palm Civet siblings on exhibit.