Ecology of African Civet (Civettictis civetta) in Arba Minch Forest, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
The population density, diet and scent-marking of African civets (Civettictis civetta) were assessed at Arba Minch Forest within Nechi Sar National Park in Arba Minch, Ethiopia. The Civet population was estimated over a 5-months period to be 0. 27/ha, of which 0.16 were adults and 0.11 young. Civet diet was analyzed by examining 578 scats during the same period to determine preference of adult Civets to plant material over animal material and vice versa. This viverrid can be termed a generalist omnivore as per these findings. Civets were found to use plants, metallic objects and poles to mark scent. Out of the 92 scent marking sites observed, a vast majority were within 100 m radius of civetries or latrine sites. In the wild, the amount of civet – the perineal gland secretion collected from each marked site varied from 0.0047 g to 0.98 g, but in captivity 0.034 g to 2.0 g was collected. Much as Ethiopia is the world’s largest supplier of civet musk to perfumery industry in Europe, its Civet farming practices needs to be regulated for acceptable welfare standards.
Keywords: African Civet Population Omnivorous generalists Scat analysis Scent marking