Protected Mammals Series III
(27 July 2005)
Click on covers above to enlarge.
Malaysia's civets, otters, weasels, martens and
porcupines may not be as well-known as other Malaysian mammals such
as the elephant, tiger or tapir with which they share our forests.
They are, nonetheless, interesting and often unusual animals,
ranging from treetop to aquatic acrobats, from stealthy nocturnal
hunters to peaceful vegetarians.
The Yellow-Throated Marten (Martes flavigula)
ranks among Malaysia's most elegant and graceful mammals. The
Malaysian variant has a brown belly and flanks, while the chest and
throat are a striking creamy-white to canary yellow. Its diet
includes insects, birds (and their eggs), lizards and amphibians.
The Large Spotted Civet (Viverra megaspila,
Blyth) is believed to forage entirely on the ground as it has never
been observed on trees. It eats small mammals, eggs and some
vegetation. It is a solitary animal and tends to be aggressive
towards members of its own species. Large Spotted Civets are found
in lowland forests throughout Malaysia and are best spotted at night
as they spend the day sleeping in thick vegetation.
The Malay Weasel (Mustela nudipes) is known
locally as 'pulasan tanah'. This species can be found in both
Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, although it is never present in
large numbers. Although small physically, it is, like most weasels,
a fearless predator which tackles birds, mice and frogs. It gives
birth to 1-4 young ones.
Malaysia's freshwater and coastal areas, especially
mangroves and peat swamp forests, are home to the Hairy-Nosed
Otter (Lutra sumatrana, Gray). It feeds on crustaceans and fish,
being an excellent swimmer with fully webbed feet. It is rarely
encountered, but has been recorded in Penang's waters; there may
also be a population in Kuala Gula, Perak. It has been observed that
the male likes to take part in the rearing of the young.
The Long-Tailed Porcupine (Trichys lipura) is
the smallest of the four Malaysian porcupine species and can be
mistaken at a glance for an oversized rat - until one notices the
large tuft of stiff hairs at the end of its long tail. The Large
Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) on the other hand is a large species,
growing up to 7 kg in weight. Porcupines are largely nocturnal
animals and are peaceful unless provoked by a predator into using
their sharp quills in self-defense. Both of these porcupines can be
found throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
While some of these animals, such as the large
Spotted Civet, may still be relatively common, few are privileged
enough to see others, like the Hairy-Nosed Otter or Yellow-Throated
Marten, in the wild. These mammal species are all protected by law,
in order to conserve a truly worthwhile part of Malaysia's natural
heritage. Long may they endure.
|Date of Issue
||27 July 2005
||30 sen (2 designs), 50 sen and RM1
||40mm X 30mm
||100mm X 70mm
|Stamp Size in
||30mm X 40mm