Malayan Civet

Malayan Civet

Malay civet, Oriental civet

Viverra tangalunga
Population size
Life Span
11-12 yrs
3.5-4.5 kg
62-66 cm

The Malayan civet is a species of civet native to the Malay Peninsula and some other islands that surround it. Malayan civets are one of the most distinguishable species of civet. Their coat is greyish with numerous black spots and about 15 black bands in the tail. The tail itself is black above and ringed on the lower side.


Malayan civets are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In Malaysia, they occur in Borneo, Banggi Island, Langkawi Island, Penang Island and in Peninsular Malaysia. They are also found on the island of Sumatra. These animals inhabit a wide variety of habitats including forests, secondary habitats, cultivated land and the outskirts of villages.

Malayan Civet habitat map


Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Malayan civets are solitary, and primarily terrestrial creatures. They are active at night and sleep during the day. Malayan civets usually forage on the forest floor, but they are also excellent climbers. They will climb up into the trees either in search of food or to hide from predators. These animals produce a secretion from their anal scent glands which is called civet. Same as skunks, Malayan civets secrete this scent when they are threatened. Civet may also be secreted and rubbed on various objects in order to communicate with each other.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Malayan civets are omnivorous animals that hunt on rodents, lizards, snakes, frogs, and insects. They also eat fruits, eggs, and even some roots.

Mating Habits

1 pup

Due to their secretive lifestyle little is known about the mating system in Malayan civets. Females reproduce two times per year. They usually give birth to 4 young per litter after the gestation period that lasts a couple of months. Pups are born with their eyes closed and become weaned when they are 1 month old.


Population threats

As a ground-living species, Malayan civets suffer from snaring and other forms of ground-level trapping and hunting with dogs. These animals are occasionally hunted for food and treated as a pest as they raid poultry. In some areas of their range, Malayan civets are also threatened from deforestation and lose much of their natural habitat. This all happens due to logging or clearing the land for palm oil plantations.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Malayan civet is widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.


1. Malayan Civet on Wikipedia -
2. Malayan Civet on The IUCN Red List site -

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