Common Genet - Conservators Center
30 August 2016
24 September 2016

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Common Genet

Genetta genetta

The common genet, Genetta genetta, is a small viverrid indigenous to Africa that was introduced to southwestern Europe and the Balearic Islands. Also known as the South African small-spotted genet, this nocturnal civet is related to the binturong, Arctictis binturong, and closely resembles the weasel, members of the genus Mustela.

Genet range. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 2015. Genetta genetta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3

The common genet’s historic range includes much of Africa where it is widely distributed north of the Sahara and in savanna zones south of the Sahara to southern Africa. Common genets are also found across the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. Threats to the common genet are almost exclusively hunting for meat, fur, and body parts and human persecution. Habitat loss and fragmentation is a secondary threat limited to the urbanization of Ibiza. Today, the common genet is found in all of its historic range except for the Nile River in Egypt where it is locally extirpated. The common genet has also been introduced into Europe and is found throughout all of Portugal and Spain, Southwestern France, and remote Northern Italy. It has been recorded in other Western European countries of Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Common genets prefer wooded habitats with access to running water but is considered a generalist and can be found widely throughout other habitats where there is suitable prey. It typically avoids open habitats, but may occur in small fragments of wooded land in farmland, savannah, and near human villages though it is absent from rainforests and dense woodlands.

Genets are extremely common throughout their range and have been estimated to reach population densities of 1.5 ±0.4 individuals per kilometer in parts of Africa. In Europe, the species is slightly less abundant and ranges from 0.3 to 0.9 individuals per kilometer. European populations are slowly but steadily increasing.

The common genet mainly feeds on small mammals and insects, though it is known to take birds and other small vertebrates as well as eating fruit.


Meet the Conservators Center's Genet