Ferret-Badgers

Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the mustelid subfamily Helictidinae. They are named as such because of their similar physical characteristics to polecats and badgers but have no genetic relation to either, which highlights just how diverse Mustelidae as a family is on the whole.

(1) Bornean Ferret-Badger (Melogale everetti)

Photo credit unknown

The Bornean ferret-badger, also known as Everett’s ferret-badger or the Kinabalu ferret-badger, is only known with certainty from the highland forests on Mount Kinabalu and nearby regions in Sabah, Malaysia, but is suspected to occur elsewhere on Borneo, including Brunei, Kalimantan (to Indonesia) and Sarawak (to Malaysia).

Appearance

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Conservation status: Endangered

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(2) Burmese Ferret-Badger (Melogale personata)

Photo credit unknown

The Burmese ferret-badger has a head and body length of 35–40 cm (14–16 in), a tail length of 15–21 cm (5.9–8.3 in) and a body weight of 1.5–3 kg (3.3–6.6 lb). The fur ranges from fawn brown to dark brown, with a white dorsal stripe. The face is marked with black and white patches, which are unique to each individual. The rear part of the tail is whitish.

Appearance

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Conservation status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(3) Chinese Ferret-Badger (Melogale moschata)

Photo by Николай Усик

The Chinese ferret-badger, also known as the small-toothed ferret-badger is  widely distributed in Southeast Asia.

Appearance

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Conservation status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(4) Javan Ferret-Badger (Melogale orientalis)

Photo by Kispál Attila

The Javan ferret-badger is endemic to Java and Bali, Indonesia. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and occurs from at least 260 to 2,230 m elevation in or close to forested areas.

Appearance

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Conservation status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(5) Vietnamese Ferret-Badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)

Photo by Elke Schwierz

The Vietnamese ferret-badger is the most recently discovered of the five species of Melogale. The Vietnamese ferret-badger was discovered in 2011 in the Cuc Phuong National Park in northern Vietnam,(1) and so far is only known to exist in this local area. Because of its recent discovery, almost no information exists regarding this particular species particularly in terms of diet and behaviour, although these are presumed to be similar to the Chinese ferret-badger, which inhabits the Indochina region and the three other known ferret-badger species which inhabit Java, Borneo and Bali.(2)

Appearance

This small 800 gram mustelid has a coat of dark brown with silver-tipped guard hairs beneath, resulting in a “frosted” look while its underside ranges from light-brown to cream, with its cheeks, neck, and throat being lighter in colour than the rest of the head. Its most prominent feature is that of its snout, which is distinctively long and narrow; almost shrew-like. It has a few whitish spots on its forehead and a small white stripe bordered by black lines which run from its head down to its shoulders, but lacks the distinct mask of its taxonomic siblings. The tail is long, bushy and uniformly coloured, while the paws are cream-coloured with long sharp curved claws. Only one male specimen has been properly scientifically documented, so variations between the sexes and between individuals of the same sex are unknown.(1)

Behaviour and diet

Little is known about the behaviour and diet of the Vietnamese ferret-badger as there is no scientific data available, but again these can be presumed to be similar to Chinese ferret-badger, which is an omnivore that feeds on snails, worms, seeds, insects, small mammals, and frogs as well as fruit. Like other ferret-badgers, it presumably lives in burrows, hollows, or other small spaces and is thought to be an accomplished hunter and digger.(2)

Size: 36.0 cm / 14.1 in (males)
Tail length: 17 cm / 6.7 in (males)
Weight: 800 g / 1.7 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown. (Similar species’ lifespan is approximately 7-10 years)
Range: Cuc Phuong National park, Northern Vietnam.
Conservation status: Data deficient
References

    1. Nadler, Tilo, et al. “A new species of ferret-badger, genus Melogale, from Vietnam.” Der Zoologische Garten 80.5 (2011): 271-286
    2. Seedfeldt, Robert “Melogole moschata” animaldiversity.org, Animal Diversity Web (2003)

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