Fossa is Species of the DayThe fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a unique carnivore, endemic to Madagascar, is EDGE Mammal number 43, and is today’s IUCN Species of the Day.
The family Eupleridae contains just eight living species, thought to have evolved from a single ancestor which colonised Madagascar from the African mainland 18 – 24 million years ago.
Fossas have a very unusual mating system – a single female will exclusively occupy a site high in a tree, below which a number of males congregate. The males compete for mating rights and over the course of a week the female will mate with a number of different males. Once the original female has left, a new female will take over the site and, like her predecessor, mates with the males there. These ‘mating trees’ are used for many years.
A captive breeding programme has been established for the fossa – check out some brilliant footage of young fossa here – but protection of large, in-tact forest habitat is still required to guarantee the future of this wonderful creature.
The EDGE of Existence works to raise awareness and implement conservation actions for unusual threatened species that are overlooked by existing conservation initiatives.
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