Binturong (Arctictis binturong)

Binturong

Fast facts

Status Vulnerable

Size Head-body: 61-97cm; tail: 50-84cm

Weight 9-20kg

Gestation 84 to 99 days

Young 1-3

Life span Up to 18 years

What do I eat?

Binturongs mainly eat fruit, but also small vertebrates and invertebrates.

Where do I live?

The binturong is widespread in South and South-east Asia. It is found in Nepal, Bangladesh, north-east India, southern China and mainland and island South-east Asia, Java and also on two Philippine islands.

Binturongs live in primary forests (which haven’t been logged or managed by people) and secondary forests (which have been disturbed), and also in areas which are a mixture of forest and grassland.

Breeding

Binturongs usually give birth to between one and three young after a gestation period of about 92 days. Young binturongs start to eat solid food at 6-8 weeks old.

Predators

There are few animals that will kill binturongs, because they are relatively large. Two species that are known to predate on binturongs are tigers and dholes. 

Conservation

The number of binturongs is thought to have declined by 30% in the last 20 years. They face threats from habitat destruction and degradation, as well as being hunted for food, skins and the pet trade.

Did you know?

Binturongs spend most of their time in the trees, but because they are heavy and not very agile, they have to climb down to the ground to get from one tree to another.

Binturongs have a prehensile tail which they use for balance and to hold onto branches for support.

Binturongs may spend up to half the day resting.

Binturongs are ‘arrhythmic’, which means they are active both day and night.

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