African Linsang

African LinsangThe African linsang (Poiana richardsonii), or 'oyan', could be found in Western Africa from Sierra Leone to northern Congo, and Bioko, a small island off the coast. They have been known to live at heights of 950m in Zaire and at 300-500m in North-east Gabon. The normal head/body length is 33 to 38 centimeters for both sexes, and the tail adds another 35-40 centimeters. They weigh only 500-700 grams.

African linsangs' ventral side are white or cream in color, dorsal sides hold circular marks which are dark. Sometimes, an individual could have a black thin stripe going from the nose to the tail's root. This tail holds 10 to 14 rings which differ in measurement. An African linsang has soles that are full of hair.

The breeding occurs once or twice annually, but when they do this exactly is just guesswork even for the experts/biologists. The number of newborns though are known, they are 2 to 3. When born they are altricial (naked and blind). They can become 5.3 years on average in the wild.

The African linsang is nocturnal, and lives either alone or with another member. They construct arboreal nests (2 meters above the ground) of green material where they sleep in just for a bit of time, then they move on and make another home. Very rarely, many linsangs would stay at the same resting place.
They could also take small vertebrates, but it is safe to assume they eat them only if the opportunity rises, they would not really hunt for it.

Interesting fact Humans are the only known predators of the African Linsang. Non-human predators may include larger carnivores, owls and snakes, but has not been observed.

Picture of the African Linsang by Alessio Marrucci, licensed under GFDL

The African linsang, richardson's linsang is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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