IUCN Species of the Day: Fossa


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)

Photo credit: Ariadne Van Zandbergen


The Fossa, Cryptoprocta ferox, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.  It is the largest mammalian carnivore on Madagascar, and has a wide distribution in the less disturbed forests across the island.

The main threat to the Fossa is the loss and fragmentation of its habitat, as forests are selectively logged or converted for agriculture and pasture.  The species is sometimes killed by local people as a pest of domestic poultry, and is sometimes taken for its body parts, which are used for medicinal purposes.  Competition with introduced carnivores such as feral dogs may also be a threat.

The Fossa is present in many protected areas throughout Madagascar, and also receives some protection from international trade under its listing on Appendix II of CITES.  A successful captive breeding program is in place for the species, but better protection of its forest habitat is needed, together with awareness programs to highlight its value in controlling pests, and improved protection under national legislation.


Geographic Range of the FossaCredit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™


To learn more about the Fossa, click here.  Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.


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To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.