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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Crab-eating Mongoose is found in southeast China including Taiwan, Nepal, Bhutan,Bangladesh,Northeast India and all countries of mainland Southeast Asia (e.g., Duckworth 1997, Van Rompaey 2001, Wang and Fuller 2001,Wang and Fuller2003, Duckworth and Robichaud 2005, Datta et al. 2008, Chen et al. 2009, Jennings and Veron 2011, Tempa et al. 2011, Choudhury 2013, Thapa 2013). In Malaysia, it has been recorded south only to Terengganu (Hedgeset al. 2013).It is altitudinally wide-ranging. Although there are apparently few records from high mountains (Van Rompaey 2001), it has been collected at 1,650 m asl (Kurseong, Bengal, India; Pocock 1941), with records from up to at least 1,800 m asl (Jennings and Veron 2011). Its range extends down to sea level in at least Hong Kong.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Crab-eating Mongoose occurs across a wide range of habitats, often near water, in evergreen and deciduous forest, scrubby areas, plantations, agricultural fields and near human settlements (Pham Trong Anh 1980, Duckworth et al. 1997, Van Rompaey 2001, Than Zawet al. 2008, Thapa 2013). It also occurs in tall savanna grassland in areas such as Kaziranga and Manas National Parks in Assam (A.U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2014). It has been recorded up toat least1,800 m asl (Jennings and Veron 2011). It is diurnal, despite earlier statements that it was nocturnal.

In Lao PDR, this species is found in evergreen forest (including degraded areas), mainly near water; most of the recent records are from hill and mountainous areas (Duckworth et al. 1999). In Thailand, Cambodia and southern Viet Nam this species is found insimilar habitats andalso in deciduous forest and down to the plains (Chutiponget al. 2014, D.H.A. Willcox pers. comm. 2014). In India it occursin lowland wet evergreen forest, secondary forest and areas around industrial areas (e.g., oil refineries). Insome countries, there are records from rice fields and other agricultural areas, and even near human settlements (Pham Trong Anh 1980, Thapa 2013). Little is known about its breeding, although the gestation period is thought to be about nine weeks; probably meaning that this species reproduces more slowly than does Herpestes javanicus (sensu lato; Lekagul and McNeely 1977). It feeds on fish, frogs, crabs, molluscs, insects and crayfish (Van Rompaey 2001).

In some areas it is readily approached by people because ofits apparent near-sightedness (Van Rompaey 2001) and fearlessness (Pocock 1941), but in areas where hunting with projectiles and/or dogs is common it is shy and not approachable, e.g. Lao PDR (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2014). It has lived up to 13 years and four months in captivity (Jones 1982). Wang and Fuller (2001) studied itsecology in a rural agricultural area of southeastern China (near the villageofTaohong in northern Jiangxi province), from April 1993 to November 1994. Wang and Fuller (2003) studied its food habits in this areabetween June 1992 and November 1994, by analysing its faeces; it ate mammals, reptiles, insects and crustaceans. In Taiwan, Chuang and Lee (1997) found that it ate mainly crustaceans, insects, amphibians and reptiles. It remains little studied elsewhere.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 13.3 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived 13.3 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2015

Assessor/s
Choudhury, A., Timmins, R., Chutipong, W., Duckworth, J.W., Mudappa, D. & Willcox, D.H.A.

Reviewer/s
Schipper, J.

Contributor/s
Su Su

Justification
Crab-eating Mongoose is listed as Least Concern because it is found in a wide variety of habitats including degraded and fragmented areas, up to relatively high altitudes (over 1,500 m asl) and is evidently resilient to the heavy hunting occurring in large parts of its range. Although it is presumably declining in proportion to deforestation, rates of outright conversion in the hill evergreen areas of northern Southeast Asia remain low; although lowland plains populations are doubtless in steep decline in some areas, the averaged global decline is unlikely to approach rates appropriate for categorisationevenas Near Threatened over the most recent or forthcoming three generations (taken as 19 years). Even though hunting-induced declines inLao PDR and Viet Nammight warrant a regionally-specificlisting of at leastNear Threatened, they are offset by the status of this species in areassuch as Northeast India, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, where hunting threats are somewhat to considerably lower. Although some increase in hunting in the next three generations is likely in Myanmar and particularly Cambodia, because (i) these constitute less than a third of the range and (ii) even inLao PDR andViet Nam the species persists in extremely heavily hunted areas and is still recorded widely, it is unlikely that future decline rates from both hunting and habitat loss averaged across the world range would be steep enough to warrant categorisation even as Near Threatened.No other threats have been identified that could be leading to a significant decline in the species.

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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Population

Population
Crab-eating Mongoose is common in Northeast India, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand (Choudhury 1997ab,Duckworth 1997,Choudhury1999, Than Zawet al. 2008, Chutipong et al. 2014, R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2014, D.H.A. Willcox pers. comm. 2014). However, in some parts of the periphery of its range, it is believed to be uncommon, e.g. Jalpaiguiri District, Bengal, India (Inglis et al. 1919), Bangladesh (Khan 1982), Nepal (Thapa 2013) and Malaysia (Hedges et al. 2013). This species is one of the most frequently detected small carnivores during both camera-trapping and direct-observation surveys (the majority of data unpublished) in Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia, in quite a sharp contrast to another ground-dwelling species of similar habitat use, Large Indian Civet Viverra zibetha; this is highly suggestive of much greater resiliency to the current levels of hunting pressure (R. J. Timmins pers. comm. 2014).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
In northern Southeast Asia (Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, southeast China and perhaps Myanmar), hunting is probably the main potential threat to Crab-eating Mongoose. This is widespread and intense, particularly in Lao PDR and Viet Nam but, even there, this species persists widely, including in areas with heavy human use. As a ground-dwelling animal, potentially suffering from widespread market-driven trapping in this region (where many other species have declined steeply), this suggests a strong resilience. However, it is evidently absent from, or at least very rare in, the plains of Lao PDR. These are more accessiblethan are the hillsand, in general, hunting of mammals has been even more damaging in them. The rarity or absence there ofCrab-eating Mongoosemight reflect hunting-led extirpation (R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2014); this is probably more likely than a natural absence from such areas, given the species' occurrence in lowland plains parts of Cambodia and Thailand (Chutipong et al. 2014, D.H.A. Willcox pers. comm. 2014). There is no demand for its meat in restaurants in Viet Nam (S. Roberton pers. comm. 2008) and no evidence of directed hunting of the species. Retaliatory killing for raiding poultry on farms occurs, but is not apopulation-levelthreat.There are no records from wholly agricultural or otherwise anthropogenic landscapes, indicating a degree of dependence on forest. Many recent records are, however, from highly fragmented and/or degraded forest. In Nepal and, formerly, in Viet Nam there are records from agricultural land (Pham Trong Anh 1980, Thapa 2013); nowadays, in its core range of northern Southeast Asia,such areas are mostlyheavily hunted and are unlikely to support resident populations. It is possible that the species is widely excluded from farmland by hunting. In sum, with the exclusion of outright deforestation, the threats to this species from habitat change (degradation and fragmentation) are mainly indirect, through the increased hunting and trading that occurs in accompaniment over most of Southeast Asia.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is protected in China, Thailand, Myanmar and Peninsular Malaysia. It is listed in Schedule IV of the Indian Wild Life (protection) Act, 1972, and in Appendix III (India) of CITES.

It occurs in many protected areas across its range.
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Wikipedia

Crab-eating mongoose

The crab-eating mongoose (Herpestes urva) is a mongoose species ranging from the northeastern Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan.

Characteristics[edit]

Taxidermy exhibit in the Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology, Kunming, Yunnan, China

H. urva is generally grey in color, with a broad white stripe on its neck extending from its cheeks to its chest. Its throat is steel-gray with white ends of its hair, rendering a salt and pepper appearance. Its hind feet possess hairy soles. Its tail is short and homogeneously colored with a fairer tip. The body of the crab-eating mongoose is 36–52 cm (14–20 in) in length, and 1–2.3 kg (2.2–5.1 lb) in weight.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Crab-eating mongooses are common in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, northern Myanmar and northeastern India. They are rare in Bangladesh.[2] In Nepal, this species inhabits subtropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, and has also been observed on agricultural land near human settlements.[4]

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

Crab-eating mongooses are usually active in the mornings and evenings, and were observed in groups of up to four individuals. They are supposed to be good swimmers, and hunt along the banks of streams and close to water.[5]

Despite their common name, their diet consists not only of crabs, but also just about anything else they can catch, including fish, snails, frogs, rodents, birds, reptiles, and insects.[4]

Conservation[edit]

Herpestes urva is listed in CITES Appendix III.[2] It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 569–70. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c d Duckworth, J.W. and Timmins, R. J. (2008). "Herpestes urva". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ Sheng, H., ed. (2005). Atlas of Mammals of China (in Chinese). Zhengzhou: Henan Science and Technoledge Press. p. 188. ISBN 7-5349-2936-9. 
  4. ^ a b Thapa, S (2013). "Observations of Crab-eating Mongoose Herpestes urva in eastern Nepal". Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 31–3. 
  5. ^ Van Rompaey, H. (2001). The Crab-eating mongoose, Herpestes urva. Small Carnivore Conservation 25: 12–17,

Further reading[edit]

  • Menon, V. (2003). A field guide to Indian mammals. Penguin India, New Delhi
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