Brown Palm Civets (maraveruku) from Western Ghats to Nilgiris

Anil Payyampally

Brown Palm Civet

Gudalur: A species of civets endemic to the Western Ghats has been spotted in the hill ranges of Nilgiri. The civets that visited Nilgiris are Brown Palm Civets (maraveruku in Malayalam) with the scientific name Paradoxurus Jerdoni.

The small mammal species were usually found in four blocks from Kalakkattu, located at the south of Western Ghats to the north Sahyadri. They are abundant in the regions of the Western Ghats south to Palakkad. But their presence is rare in the north of it. Rainforests are the favourite habitats of these mammals. They inhabit the Anamalai tiger reserve, Periyar tiger reserve, Kalakkad Mundanthurai tiger reserve, Meghamalai, Kodaikanal, Munnar, Srivilliputhur, Silent Valley, Mukurthi National park, Muthumalai tiger reserve, Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Nagarhole tiger reserve and Bandipur in Western Ghats.

The brown palm civets do not prefer to live near human settlements. The civets are found in different colours like brown, red and even white. They spent daytime on the tree branches and holes or in the abandoned nests made by the Indian giant squirrels.

The presence of these mammals were tracked in Nilgiris by the Assistant Professor K Hari Raman of Kerala Agricultural University, Dr TT Shameer, wildlife research student Sulekha J Bakker.

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