Chinese ferret-badger

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Chinese ferret-badger
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: 'Melogale'
Species: ''M. moschata
Binomial name
Melogale moschata
(Gray, 1831)
Chinese ferret-badger range

Helictis subaurantiaca

The Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata), also known as the small-toothed ferret-badger is a member of the mustelid widely distributed in Southeast Asia. It is listed as Least Concern by IUCN and considered tolerant of modified habitat.[1]


Distinctive mask-like face markings distinguish the Chinese ferret-badger from most other oriental mustelids, although the remaining members of the genus Melogale have comparable facial markings. This ferret-badger lives in burrows or crevices and is active at dusk and at night. It is a good climber and feeds on fruit, insects, small animals and worms. It is savage when alarmed and its anal secretions are foul-smelling.

The average body size of the Chinese ferret-badger is 33 to 43 centimetres (13 to 17 in) with a tail of 15 to 23 centimetres (5.9 to 9.1 in). It lives in grassland, open forest and tropical rainforest from north-eastern India to southern China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and northern Indochina.

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

Chinese ferret-badgers mate in March. The female gives birth to a litter of up to 3 young in May or June. The new borns are blind and well furred with the same color pattern as the adults. Their eyes remain closed for at least 2 weeks.[2]

The Chinese ferret-badger is associated with reported outbreaks of human rabies in Southeastern China which were first reported in 1997 and the most recent case in 2008. There have been no reported deaths in these cases; however, there is currently no vaccination for rabies associated with ferret-badgers.[3]


  1. ^ a b Template:IUCN
  2. ^ Storz, J. F. and Wozencraft, W. C. (1999). Melogale moschata. Mammalian Species No. 631: 1–4.
  3. ^ Zhang, S., Tang, Q., Wu, X., Liu, Y., Zhang, F., Rupprecht, C. E., & Hu, R. (2009). Rabies in ferret badgers, southeastern China. Emerging infectious diseases: 15 (6): 946. doi: 10.3201/eid1506.081485