Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

Fossa
Cryptoprocta ferox

  • Habitat: Tropical rainforests
  • Range: Madagascar
  • Natural Diet: Lemurs, small mammals and reptiles
  • Status in the Wild: THREATENED

 

Fun Facts

  • It has been challenging for scientists to place this species in the animal evolutionary tree because they are similar to both felids and canids but strangely are also dissimilar to them.
  • The fossa is highly arboreal. They have long tails, almost as long as their bodies, that help them balance on branches while climbing trees.
  • They have flexible ankles and wrists that can be turned, which allows them to climb down from a tree head first.
  • They are flat-footed when they walk, which gives them stability when they jump from branch to branch.
  • They follow a unique breeding pattern. The female scent marks her territory with urine when she is ready to breed. Several males visit her and she either selects one male or she mates with several.

 

Conservation Threats

Conservation: The main factors responsible for the fossa's low numbers in the wild are habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting and the detrimental effects of feral carnivores.

Major threats to their survival are:

  • Habitat loss from agricultural practices and logging trees for firewood; and
  • Illegal hunting for food

 

 

Fossa Fossa are closely related to mongoose and weasels

(Photo courtesy: Scott Findley Photography)

 

 

 

Map Distributional range Fossas are endemic to Madagascar, the island in black to the right of Africa