Predicted distribution of the otter civet Cynogale bennettii (Mammalia: Carnivora: Viverridae) on Borneo
Cheyne SM., Mohamed A., Hearn AJ., Ross J., Samejima H., Heydon M., Augeri DM., van Berkel T., Boonratana R., Fredriksson G., Hon J., Marshall AJ., Macdonald DW., Belant JL., Kramer-Schadt S., Wilting A.
© 2016 National University of Singapore. The otter civet Cynogale bennettii is a small carnivore of the family Viverridae, native to Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sumatra), Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and mainland), Brunei Darussalam and southern Thailand. Across its range, its distribution is patchy and the species has been assumed to be a wetland specialist favouring peat-swamp and fresh-water swamp forests and primary forest, although also infrequently recorded in logged and secondary forests. The otter civet is listed as CITES Appendix II and listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of substantial habitat loss and inferred population decline from habitat loss across its range. The destruction, degradation and drying of wetlands is likely to be the greatest threat to it. Much remains to be discovered about the life history and ecology of this species. We compiled 132 occurrence records and used a subset of these (64 Spatial Filtering Model and 23 Balanced Model) together with the land-cover assessment of 11 respondents to predict habitat suitability on Borneo. The resulting model predicted a high proportion of Borneo to contain suitable habitat for the otter civet with most coastal areas, swamp forests and lowland forest areas predicted to be highly suitable. Of particular importance for the persistence of otter civet populations are the central forest block in Sabah, much of the production forest in Sarawak, and the lowland peat-swamp forests of Central Kalimantan. Greater survey effort is required in Brunei and throughout the remaining four Kalimantan provinces because most records from these areas were historical.