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).

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

Appearance

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Behaviour

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Diet

Range map

Body length: 33–44 cm / 13–17 in (males)
Tail length: 15.2–23 cm / 6–9 in (males)
Weight: 1–2 kg / 2–4.5 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), unknown (captivity)
Range: The highland forests on Mount Kinabalu and nearby regions in Sabah, Malaysia.
Conservation status: Endangered
References

(2) Burmese Ferret-Badger (Melogale personata)

Photo by Dmitry Ivanov

The Burmese ferret-badger, also known as the large-toothed ferret-badger, is a mustelid native to Southeast Asia.

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

Appearance

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Behaviour

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Diet

Range map

Body length: 35–40 cm / 14–16 in (males)
Tail length: 15–21 cm / 6–8 in (males)
Weight: 1.5–3 kg / 3–7 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), up to 10 years (captivity)
Range: Southeast Asia.
Conservation status: Least Concern
References

(3) Chinese Ferret-Badger (Melogale moschata)

Photo by Николай Усик

The Chinese ferret-badger, also known as the small-toothed ferret-badger, is the most common and widely distributed of the five species of Asian ferret-badgers, and enjoys a wide distribution throughout Northern India, central and northern China and Taiwan.(1)

Appearance

The Chinese ferret-badger has an appearance similar to the American badger, but is much smaller, with a much longer and narrower body and lacks the stockiness of its distant American cousin. They have a defined facial mask of light fur surrounded by black (although not nearly as prominent as the European badger or ferret), along with a whitish diamond-shaped patch on the crown of the head, continuing as a white stripe down to the neck and in some cases down to the middle of the back. Dorsal fur colour is somewhat variable, with a short brown, faun brown or greyish brown fur covering the back, while the underside ranges from white to orange.(2) The Chinese ferret-badger has the characteristic 5-toed mustelid paws, with strong, well-defined nails enabling them to dig easily and efficiently, as well as climb trees.(3)

Diet and Behaviour

The Chinese ferret badger is an omnivore and an opportunist, and will eat just about anything it comes across; including insects, worms, and small invertebrates, as well as fruits and vegetables.(4)(5) They are exploratory and opportunistic hunters, and have the characteristic mustelid scent glands and can be quite fierce when forced to defend themselves. They are largely active at dusk and into the night hours. In the daytime, can often be found resting in man-made wood-piles or rock piles, as well as abandoned burrows, rock crevices, or in natural hollows or depressions.(2)

Environment

The Chinese ferret-badger is quite adaptable and can be found living in multiple environments such as grassland, open forests, and rain forests.(6) They have little fear of humans and can often be found in proximity to human farming settlements as well as wild uninhabited areas. They rarely prey on chickens or livestock and typically don’t damage human property and in fact, in many cases they are encouraged to hang around by humans as they often feed on small rodents and cockroaches; controlling the populations of these and other pests.(6) Less solitary than other mustelids, they often have small but frequently overlapping 4-9 hectare (10-22 acre) territories.(6)

Range map

Body length: 30–40 cm / 12–16 in (males)
Tail length: 15–23 cm / 5.9–9.1 in (males)
Weight: 1–3 kg / 2–6.5 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), up to 17 years (captivity)
Range: Southeast Asia.
Conservation status: Least Concern
Recognised subspecies(7)

  1. M. m. moschata
  2. M. m. ferreogrisea
  3. M. m. hainanensis
  4. M. m. millsi
  5. M. m. sorella
  6. M. m. subaurantiaca
  7. M. m. taxilla
References

    1. (Jones, M. L., and JONES ML. “Longevity of captive mammals.” (1982)
    2. (LEKAGUL B & MCNEELY, J. “Mammals of Thailand.” Association for the Conservation of Wildlife. Kuru sapha Ladprao Press, Bangkok (1988)
    3. Wang, Haibin, and Todd K. Fuller. “Ferret badgerMelogale moschata activity, movements, and den site use in southeastern China.” Acta Theriologica 48.1 (2003): 73-7
    4. Chuang, Shun‐An, and Ling‐Ling Lee. “Food habits of three carnivore species (Viverricula indica, Herpestes urva, and Melogale moschata) in Fushan Forest, northern Taiwan.” Journal of Zoology 243.1 (1997): 71-79.
    5. Zhou, You-Bing, et al. “Frugivory and seed dispersal by a small carnivore, the Chinese ferret-badger, Melogale moschata, in a fragmented subtropical forest of central China.” Forest Ecology and Management 255.5-6 (2008): 1595-1603
    6. Seefeldt, R. 2003. “Melogale moschata” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 26, 2020
    7. Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. Melogale moschata in Mammal Species of the World. – A Taxonomic and Geo

(4) Javan Ferret-Badger (Melogale orientalis)

Photo by Kispál Attila

The Javan ferret-badger is endemic to Java and Bali, Indonesia.

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

Appearance

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Behaviour

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Diet

Range map

Body length: 35–40 cm / 14–16 in (males)
Tail length: 14.5–17 cm / 6–7 in (males)
Weight: 1–2 kg / 2.2–4.4 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), unknown (captivity)
Range: The islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia.
Conservation status: Least Concern
References

(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 are only known to exist in this local area. Because the discovery is of recent date, 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

Vietnamese ferret badgers have a coat of dark brown with silver-tipped guard hairs beneath, resulting in a “frosted” look while their underside ranges from light-brown to cream, with their cheeks, neck, and throat being lighter in colour than the rest of the head. Their most prominent feature is that of the snout, which is distinctively long and narrow; almost shrew-like. They have a few whitish spots on the forehead and a small white stripe bordered by black lines which run from the head down to the shoulders, but lacks the distinct mask of their 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 are omnivores that feeds on snails, worms, seeds, insects, small mammals, and frogs as well as fruit. Like other ferret-badgers, they presumably live in burrows, hollows, or other small spaces and are thought to be accomplished hunter and diggers.(2)

Body length: 36.0 cm / 14.1 in (males)
Tail length: 17 cm / 6.7 in (males)
Weight: 0.8 kg / 1.7 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), unknown (captivity)
Range: Unknown, but one specimen was found in 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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