The 8th May 2021 is World Binturong Day.
The aim is to raise awareness of this mammal who lives in the primary and secondary forests of South East Asia in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines (on the Palawan Island).
How much do you know about the Binturong?
Here are 7 facts about binturongs:
- The binturong uses its tail to balance – they can grab things and hang from branches with their tails.
- Binturongs are also called bearcats – but they aren’t cats or bears! They are part of the Viverridae family
- Their conservation status is Vulnerable (according to the IUCN in 2016
The conservation of binturongs isn’t easy – most of the studies on their behaviour and diet and reproduction are from binturongs in captivity – only three were done in the wild, so it’s hard to get an idea of the size of their territory, their diet and the way they all interact with each other. In addition, they are mostly active at night and they live 10 to 20 metres high, so it can be difficult to get accurate information on the binturongs.
ABConservation work to protect the binturong
They are based in France and in the Philippines. They undertake a number of activities:
- They have a BearCat Study Programme to improve knowledge of binturong ecology and try to find out the remaining number of binturongs in the forest of the Palawan Island
- They have created partnerships with local organisations and also a method of canopy camera trapping from 5 to 20 metres high in the treetops to help detect binturongs. They also take part in conferences to spread information and they are involving Filipino and French university students in the implementation of various research protocols.
- They are now mapping the distribution of binturongs on the island with lots of study sites, and undertaking an ecological study of binturongs through camera trapping.
- They are raising awareness of the importance of nature and the threat it faces, and working to create tangible actions and solutions to face the threats that will impact humans.
- They also have a wildlife rescue centre as well.
Ways to support ABConservation in protecting binturongs are by donating, becoming a member and/or volunteering.