Asian Mammals, Asian Wildlife
Comments 4

Common Palm Civet – Musang Pandan

Musang Common Palm Civet Danum Valley Sabah Borneo Malaysia

As opposed to peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, Borneo is not inhabited by tigers – the title of biggest predator therefore automatically goes to the Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi). This beautifully marbled cat is one of the trophy mammals when trekking in the forests, however, they are so rare and elusive a sighting would be highly unlikely. Apart from other rare felines as for example the endemic Bay Cat (Pardofelis Badia) or the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis borneoensis), civet cats are more numerous and therefore easier to find – especially the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) can be seen more readily at night around the densely vegetated sides of gravel roads and forest paths. In this habitat the almost entirely frugivorous civet builds its day-bed and acts as a major seed-dispersal agent.


On one of our night walks around the Danum Valley Field Centre we stumbled upon this individual sitting on a big vine right next to the trail. Instead of rushing off into the forest it seemed stunned by our presence (and torchlights) only to observe us quietly from what seemed a completely frozen position. Great for a close study and some nighttime photography!




  1. Girl Gone Expat says

    I am very impressed with the wildlife in Borneo, there are so many of species you have presented that I have not heard about before:)

    • So are we Inger – it is undoubtedly one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots. So many different species of plants, mammals and insects, just bewildering

    • It’s a fascinated look indeed. Our guide told us that they often perceive the light of a torch as moonlight. Only when moving it showed a slightly more cat-like aggressive look – but no hissing and sounds

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