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New Mammal in Karura

Newsflash! New Karura mammal species captured by one of the FKF KaruraKams.

African Palm CivetOn the night of 16 August, at 20:23 PM, one of the FKF KaruraKam camera traps ‘caught’ a first for Karura Forest: an African Palm Civet (a.k.a Two-spotted Civet, Nandinia binotata arborea).

In Karura Forest, this interesting little mammal finds itself at the extreme eastern edge of it’s central African range. Largely solitary, semi-arboreal, it eats just about anything from palm fruit to figs to whatever small mammals and birds it can catch.

African Palm Civet

African Palm Civet (Source: Jonathan Kingdon, African Mammals. London: Academic Press. 1997)

It is so odd that taxonomists place it in its own family of mammals. It has retractable claws like a cat, a forefoot digit that is nearly a thumb, and sticky foot pads that allow it to sprint vertically up and down tree trunks.

This sighting is one more exciting piece evidence of a successfully recovering forest ecosystem. And all within Nairobi city limits and easy reach of anyone who wants to come for a walk in the woods (but not at night — the Palm Civet is nocturnal).