Elusive Musang Discovered in Masungi Georeserve During Expedition
The highly elusive musang, aka Asian palm civet, was recently confirmed to inhabit the forests and mountains of Masungi Georeserve, an award-winning eco-tourism site.
Scientists discovered the presence of the musang in Masungi on the second day of Masungi Georeserve’s Watershed Expedition.
Scientists have been following the musang’s droppings prior to the sighting.
“Trailing a stream inside Masungi to find snakes, the research team instead found pairs of yellow eyes glowing in the dark last night,” Masungi Georeserve wrote.
It turned out to be the musang or palm civet (Paradoxurus philippinensis).
Asian Civet Feces
The Asian palm civet is popular and unfortunately poached elsewhere for its feces. Civet coffee was once touted by National Geographic as the world’s most expensive coffee. It comes from civet feces. “It is made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by the civet,” wrote National Geographic in 2016.
“Observing civet feces earlier in the day in the stream, areas close to the stream, and pathways to the stream, this confirms the habitat of musang in the area,” wrote Masungi in its post.
Wildlife biologist Paulo Kim tells Masungi more about feces: “Feces can tell you a lot about the behavior of animals," said Kim. He pointed out how the musang likes to stay near the stream in the Masungi Georeserve.
“The stream seems to be like a lifeline for them. Most of their feces have traces of bignay fruit which are also found along the stream.”
The ongoing Watershed Expedition in Masungi is part of a project by the Georeserve in partnership with the government of Canada. It aims to study the extent of biodiversity in the protected landscape.
Team of Scientists Exploring Masungi Georeserve
“A team of scientists, citizens, rangers, and storytellers explore the Masungi Geopark Project, our ecosystem restoration project in the Upper Marikina Watershed. It aims to study its biodiversity and help #DrawtheLine against environmental threats and illegal activities like quarrying and land grabbing,” Masungi Georeserve wrote.
The project will likely discover more animals not previously thought to inhabit the Georeserve. On the third day of the Watershed Expedition, scientists have already documented numerous species of reptiles, plants, birds, and mammals in the area.