African Palm Civet Nandinia binotata

African Palm Civet Nandinia binotata

African Palm Civet Nandinia binotata

Least concern (in 2016) but likely becoming endangered now.

African Palm Civets are vital seed dispersers in African forests they are persecuted for #bushmeat. They are also threatened by mining and #palmoil #deforestation in #Gabon #Liberia.

Large tracts of rainforest where African palm civets live are threatened by commercial logging and large-scale oil palm plantations owned by foreign multinational companies.  Say no to palm oil every time you shop, be #vegan and #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife in the supermarket!

Vital seed dispersers in #African forests, African palm civets are persecuted for #bushmeat. Other threats are #mining #palmoil #deforestation in #Gabon #Liberia. Say no to #palmoil #deforestation #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

Appearance & Behaviour

Small cat-like carnivores, African palm civets have grey to dark brown fur with dark spots on their backs. They possess a long lean body and a long ringed tail. They have two scent glands on their lower abdomens which help them to makr their territory and find mates. Male adult African palm civets are slightly larger than female and they average between 1-3 kg in weight and approximately 30-70cm in body length.

They are nocturnal and spend the majority of their lives in the tree canopies of rainforests eating from fruit-bearing trees like banana, papaya, fig and corkwood.


The main threats to African palm civets are anthropogenic and include:

Hunting for bushmeat trade

Around 8,000 palm civets are hunted in the Nigerian and Cameroon part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests. Throughout Africa these small animals are treated as hostile by locals and are killed for this reason. They are regularly found in bushmeat markets.

Palm oil deforestation: a major threat

The upper Guinean rainforests in Liberia are a biodiversity rich hotspot and they are rapidly being fragmented and destroyed by palm oil and timber deforestation, along with mining.

Large tracts of rainforest where African palm civets live are threatened by commercial logging and large-scale oil palm plantations owned by foreign multinational companies.  


African palm civets are found in sub-Saharan Africa, from Guinea to South Sudan and also in the south from Angola to eastern Zimbabwe. They prefer deciduous forests, lowland rainforests, gallery, and riverine peatlands and swamplands.


African palm civets primarily feed on the fruit of the persimmon, African corkwood tree, Uapaca, fig, papaya, and banana trees. When fruit isn’t readily available, they will supplement their diet with rodents, lizards, birds, frogs, and insects.

African Palm Civet Nandinia binotata - Africa

Mating and breeding

Male African palm civets mate with multiple females who overlap with their territories. In general, females give birth during the wet season and at the beginning of the dry season from September to January.

Their gestation period lasts 2-3 months and a little typically includes up to four baby civets that are weaned after 3 months. Sexual maturity is reached at the age of three years old. The generation length is around 7 years.

African palm civets have no formal protections in place and are not considered important enough to be assessed regularly by the IUCN Red List.

The #Boycott4Wildlife offers a way for consumers to fight back against palm oil deforestation and other forms of animal cruelty and slavery. If you wish to raise your voice for African Palm Civets, join the #Boycott4Wildlife.

You can support this beautiful animal

There are no known formal conservation activities in place for this animal. Make sure that you #Boycottpalmoil and #Boycott4Wildlife in the supermarket and raise awareness of the plight of beautiful African palm civets in order to support their survival! Find out more here

Further Information

The IUCN has declared that this animal was of ‘Least Concern’ in 2016. However, their habitat is rapidly declining and they deserve more intensive protection and regular assessment.

Gaubert, P., Bahaa-el-din, L., Ray, J. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Nandinia binotataThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41589A45204645. Accessed on 07 September 2022.

African palm civets, Wikipedia.

African Palm Civet Nandinia binotata - Africa GIF

How can I help the #Boycott4Wildlife?

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3. Supermarket sleuthing: Next time you’re in the supermarket, take photos of products containing palm oil. Share these to social media along with the hashtags to call out the greenwashing and ecocide of the brands who use palm oil. You can also take photos of palm oil free products and congratulate brands when they go palm oil free.

4. Take to the streets: Get in touch with Palm Oil Detectives to find out more.

5. Donate: Make a one-off or monthly donation to Palm Oil Detectives as a way of saying thank you and to help pay for ongoing running costs of the website and social media campaigns. Donate here

Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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