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Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Madagascar (from Hawkins and Dollar 2008 unless otherwise noted)

  • Nearly island-wide distribution
  • No longer present in much of the central, high plateau
    • Present only in small forest “islands” in the country’s interior (Goodman 2009)


Forest dwellers (from Hawkins and Dollar 2008 unless otherwise noted)

  • Present in nearly all forest types
    • Rainforests, savoka (humid forests), montane forests, and spiny desert forests
  • Most often associated with intact forests
    • Inhabits fragments that are in close proximity to an intact forest (Gerber et al. 2012a)
      • Avoids fragments >15 km (9.3 mi) from an intact forest
      •  Transient in non-forest habitat; may pass through such areas
    • Absent from regions where the forest has been cleared
  • Arboreal and terrestrial
    • Commonly in trees and on the ground
    • Some populations live in regions above treeline

Regional climatic characteristics (from Goodman 2009)

  • Live in the driest and wettest areas of Madagascar
    • Driest zones with annual rainfall as low as 400 mm/year (15.7 in/year)
    • Wettest zones receive >6,000 mm/year (236 in/year)

Elevation range

  • 0-2,600 m (0-8,530 ft) (Hawkins and Dollar 2008)
  •  Population densities tend to decrease with increasing elevation (Goodman 2009)

Distribution Map

Fossa distribution
Fossa (Cryptoprotca ferox) distribution.  Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Gerber et al. (2012a)
Gerber et al. (2012b)
Goodman (2009)
Hawkins and Dollar (2008)

SDZWA Library Links