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Attention to Citizens Living in Communities Near the Mountainside: Don’t panic when you see Formosan gem-faced civets!

Wildlife is often found in communities near the mountainside in Taipei City. From October 1-16, 2022, the TCAPO already received eight requests for rescue of Formosan gem-faced civets within two weeks, including four cases regarding accidental household entry. After the TCAPO staff arrived at the scene to understand and rescue those Formosan gem-faced civets, they released those in a good shape into the wild or sent those injured for medical attention. The TCAPO specifically urges citizens not to panic when they see Formosan gem-faced civets and follow the three No’s: no interference, no contact, and no feeding. In this way Formosan gem-faced civets will return to their habitats on their own.

According to the TCAPO, Formosan gem-faced civets are often found in medium- to low-elevation mountainsides in Taiwan. The Formosan gem-faced civet is a nocturnal omnivore. It’s good at climbing and with a steady population growth in recent years. The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, already amended the List of Protected Species in Taiwan in 2019 to re-list the Formosan gem-faced civet from the list of protected species in the list of general wildlife. However, according to the Wildlife Conservation Act, citizens are not allowed to hunt or capture wildlife. Recently, citizens have often mistaken Formosan gem-faced civets as stray cats and set cage traps to capture them, or citizens do not know what to do when Formosan gem-faced civets enter their premises when they lose their way. In either situation the TCAPO has sent staff to rescue and assess if Formosan gem-faced civets were injured and released those in a good shape in the nearby mountainside for them to go back to their habitats.

The TCAPO urges that citizens living near the mountainside are advised not to touch baby Formosan gem-faced civets seen near their premises. Citizens should first observe if baby Formosan gem-faced civets are attended by their mothers. If it is necessary to drive them away, citizens must wait for the mother Formosan gem-faced civets to come back before doing so. This way they will “relocate” themselves because they think their dens have been compromised. Additionally, citizens should not frighten mother Formosan gem-faced civets with loud noises or agitated actions to prevent them from abandoning their babies and then running away. When seeing wildlife and not knowing what to do, citizens can report to the 24-hour animal protection hotline 1959. Please visit the TCAPO official website for more information.