Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Brown Mongoose occurs in southern India and Sri Lanka (Mudappa 2013). In South India it is found from about 450 m asl to over 2,000 m asl, including evergreen forests along the western border of Kodagu (Coorg) district, Virajpet in southKodaguand Ooty in the Nilgiri hills, Tiger Shola in the Palni hills, the High Wavy Mountains in Madurai, Kalakad-Mundanthura Tiger Reserve in in Agasthyamalai hills, the Valparai plateau in the Anamalai hills in Tamil Nadu, and Eravikulam National Park, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve and Peeramedu in Kerala (Pocock 1939, Prater 1971, Corbet and Hill 1992, Mudappa 1998,Mudappa2001, Mudappa2013, Sreehari et al. 2013, D. Jathanna pers. comm. 2014). A thriving population has been discovered on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. This is the first known introduction of this species and may derive from a pair brought from an unknown source to a private zoo in the late 1970s (Veron et al. 2009).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Brown Mongoose has been recorded within dense evergreen forest and in adjacent human-modified areas (Mudappa 2002) but there seem to be no records far from native forest. All D. Jathana's (pers. comm. 2014) records of this species in modified habitats have been within one kilometre of forest areas. It remains unclear whether it can persist in a fully modified landscape. In India, it has been observed inside or adjacent to rainforests in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Mudappa 2002), in the Anamalai hills (Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve and Eravikulam National Park, Kerala) and along the western border of Kodagu district; and within rainforest fragments and adjacent to them in tea and coffee plantations in the Anamalai hills (Mudappa 2001, D. Muddapa pers. comm. 2014, D. Jathannapers. comm. 2014) and in Coorg. This species occurs in coffee plantations and mid-elevation tropical forests and shola-grasslands in parts of Sri Lanka (Prater 1971).Records seem to be more frequent at medium and high than at low elevations in the Western Ghats, although how much of this reflects habitat selection and how much the lower observer effort in the smaller areas under remnant low-elevation forests is unclear (D. Jathannapers. comm. 2014).

Animals come to rubbish dumps in various places including at buildings amid plantations on the Valparai plateau. It has been seen scavenging on carcases of large mammals like Gaur Bos gaurus in the Anamalais (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014).

It is likely to be mostly crepuscular to nocturnal in habit, but with significant day-time activity (Mudappa 1998, 2002, 2013). It has been observed as single individuals or, less frequently, duos or small groups. Preliminary radio-tracking data on one individual show very large movements for a 2.6 kg animal (D. Jathannapers. comm. 2014).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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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
Mudappa, D. & Jathanna, D.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. & Schipper, J.

Contributor/s
Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C & Yonzon, P.

Justification
Brown Mongoose, previously categorised as Vulnerable,is listed as Least Concern because of a better understanding of itsstatus based on increased camera-trap records and frequent sightings in some locations within the Western Ghats, India. It seems to be quite adaptable to modified habitats and not very specialised in its habits. Although there isno field-basedpopulation estimate for the species in any part of itsrange, current data indicate that it is relatively cryptic, but can be locally common, even in human-modified habitats (forests converted to commercial plantations of tea and coffee) asin the Anamalai hills (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014) and Coorg (D. Jathanna pers. comm. 2014) in India; the same has been reported for this species in Sri Lanka (Prater 1971). Further information on density, population trend and itsspecific use of habitatmight indicate thespecies to qualify as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(i), but aspresently understood this would be over-precautionary.

History
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • 2000
    Data Deficient (DD)
  • 1996
    Not Evaluated (NE)
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Population

Population
In recent years there have been many sightings of Brown Mongoose and it seems to be locally common and widespread in evergreen forest (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014, D. Jathanna pers. comm. 2014.). Preliminary radio-tracking of one individual shows surprisingly large movements for an animal of this body size, suggesting the possibility that population densities are low (or home ranges are much overlapping; D. Jathanna pers. comm. 2014). In most areas it is rarely sighted, reflecting its crepuscular or nocturnal habits; and the often fleeting glimpses render its identification difficult. Until recently it has been believed to be apparently naturally rare to uncommon, as it was recorded only four times between 1996 and 1999 in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in India (Mudappa 2002). In the tea and coffee plantation dominated Valparai plateau (800-1,500 m asl) in the Anamalai hills, it is relatively more common than in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Mudappa et al. 2007). It has also been recorded in the shola-grassland ecosystems of the Nilgiris and in southern Western Ghats, and within and adjacent to coffee plantations in Coorg (D. Jathannapers. comm. 2014, D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014). Based on relative habitatstability, the relatively low levels of hunting and the ongoing presence close tosettlements, the population is believed to bestable, but the confidence of this assessment is low.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Specific threats to Brown Mongoose are not well known, but habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation potentially have some impacts on populations (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2014). The wide occurrence in agricultural land suggests that agrochemical usage might be a threat - plausibly more than that of the agriculture itself. There is some level of incidental trapping and other forms of hunting. Further research would clarify the impacts of the various potential threats to which the species is exposed; but localities of recent sightings amid coffee and tea plantations amid a landscape of highly fragmented forest, the relative habitat stability, and the lack of any specific hunting for this species suggest that, overall, threats are low.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix III. Brown Mongoose has been recorded in a few protected areas in the southern Western Ghats, India (Mudappa 2002). A better understanding of the species natural history would allow a more confident assessment of its conservation status and needs. Compilation of recent records, which are highly dispersed and mostly unpublished, would be valuable, with particular attention to each localities' habitat and distance from forest; the extent to which the animals living outside forest might depend on forest needs particular attention.
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Wikipedia

Indian brown mongoose

The Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) looks similar to the short-tailed mongoose from Southeast Asia and is sometimes believed to be only a subspecies of this latter. The Indian brown mongoose is found in southwest India and Sri Lanka.

Indian Brown Mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) from Western Ghats, India

Description[edit]

The Indian brown mongoose appears large compared to the other mongoose species in southern Western Ghats. This species has a Dark brown body and its legs are noticeably in black colour. The tail length is two third of its body length and more furry than that of the Small Indian Mongoose. A pointed tail and fur beneath the hind leg help to distinguish this species from others.[2]

An old illustration of H. f. maccarthiae

Distribution[edit]

In South India, it is found from 700 to 1,300 m from Virajpet in south Coorg and Ooty in the Nilgiri hills, Tiger Shola in the Palni hills, High Wavy Mountains in Madurai, Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Agasthyamalai hills, Valparai plateau in the Anamalai hills, and Peeramedu in Kerala.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muddapa, D., Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C. & Yonzon, P. (2008). Herpestes fuscus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  2. ^ A Field Guide to Indian Mammals by Vivek Menon
  3. ^ http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41612/0
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