The Asian palm civet is a small and gray or black animal which only weighs two to five kilograms. It usually has a long and stocky body that is covered with shaggy and grayish hair. Generally, they are marked with black color in their muzzles, ears, and feet. The marks on the face of Asian palm civet are identical to that of the raccoons and they don’t have rings in their tails which is often present to similar types of civet species.
Asian palm civets are native to the following countries: Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, and in the different islands of Indonesia. Soon after, these animals were introduced to Sulawesi, Sunda Islands, Irian Jaya, and Japan.
Asian palm civets usually thrive in forests but they also appear in selected logged forests.
There are also times that these animals inhabit parks and suburban garden where there are abundant fruit trees where they can thrive and feed on. Some of the most common types of trees on which these marsupials really love to stay on are fig trees, coffee trees, and other undisturbed vegetation.
This animal has sharp claws that allow him to climb trees and gutters. In Sri Lanka, palm civets are considered as nuisance because they often litter in the house particularly in the ceilings and in the attic. They also create disturbance especially when they fight and move hereto and fro during the night.
Generally, Asian civets feed on pulpy fruits and berries. This is the reason why these animals are very important in maintaining tropical rain-forests and ecosystem because they disperse seeds in the wilderness. These animals are actually earth friendly because they help in the earth’s green revolution movement simply by dispersing seeds of the fruits they have eaten. Some of the most common fruits that they eat and disperse are rambuttan, chiko, mango, and coffee beans. These animals also feed on small insects and mammals. Sometimes, these animals also feed on flower saps of palm trees that become sweet liquor called toddy when fermented. Because these civets often do this, they are named as ‘toddy cats’. These types of cats play a significant role in the germination and propagation of certain palm species like p. zavana palm trees and pinanga kuhlii.
Asian civet is believed to live a life that is solitary; meaning, these animals tend to live alone by themselves except on mating periods of course. These animals are terrestrial and also arboreal, meaning they are active during the night especially during late evenings and after midnight. So when you are nearby a civet territory, you will usually see them becoming active once the clock strikes 6PM until 4Am. However, these animals become less active on nights that have moon at its brightest.
To mark their territories, they make use of scent markings through their anal glands, feces, and urine.
These animals are also able to identify certain species, sex, and whether the animal which left the secretion is known or unknown. The can do this by simply smelling the anal secretion.
Asian palm civets are the origins of the most expensive coffee in the world known as the Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee.