Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Known only from north-eastern Liberia and western Côte d’Ivoire. They are likely to occur in suitable habitat in S. Guinea (Taylor and Dunham in press).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

Liberiictis kuhni is found in northwestern Liberia and southwestern Ivory Coast.

(Nowak, 1999)

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

The average Liberian mongoose weighs about 2.3 kg and an average adult male is about 42.3 cm long with a tail 19.7 cm long. An adult female was measured to be 47.8 cm long, with a 20.5 cm long tail. The fur is mostly dark brown with a dark stripe bordered by two light stripes found on the neck. The throat is pale and the tail is slightly paler than the body. Liberian mongooses have strong, long claws, particularly on the forelimbs, which are used for digging in search of food. The claws on the forelimbs measure about 18 mm on the third and fourth toes, while the hind claws measure about 13 mm on the third and fourth toes. The muzzle is long, and can also be used for digging in the sand for insects. The pads of the feet are black and hairless. The primary differences between Liberiictis and its close relative, the cusimanse (Crossarchus), are that Liberiictis has stripes on the back of its neck, a more robust skull and body, smaller teeth, and longer ears. Liberiictis also has one more premolar than Crossarchus in both the upper and lower jaws.

(Nowak, 1990; Schliemann, 1990; Schlitter, 1974)

Average mass: 2.3 kg.

Range length: 42.3 to 47.8 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Occurs in primary and secondary forests, and are found mainly in swamp forest and streambeds with deep sandy soils where earthworms are abundant. Although present in secondary forests, the lack of den sites may restrict their distribution (Taylor and Dunham in press).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Liberian mongoose individuals have been found in areas with dense forests and plentiful streams. A burrow was documented occurring near a termite mound. (Nowak, 1999)

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Other Habitat Features: riparian

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Liberian mongoose individuals eat primarily insects, although they also eat worms, eggs, and small invertebrates in the wild. In captivity, these mongooses are known to eat ground meat, dog food, young chickens, and fish.

(Nowak, 1999)

They have been observed foraging in streambeds and through leaf litter and decaying wood for food.

(Schliemann, 1990; Taylor, 1992)

Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Piscivore , Eats eggs, Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Liberian mongooses are important predators of insects and other small animal in the ecosystems in which they live.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Predation

There is little known about natural predators of Liberiictis kuhni. Humans may be their primary predators currently. They are aggressive when confronted, deterring most predators.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Known prey organisms

Liberiictis kuhni preys on:
non-insect arthropods

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

The lifespan of Liberian mongooses is not documented.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Mating behavior in this species is unknown.

Liberian mongooses most likely breed during the rainy season, which is from May to September. (Nowak, 1999) Little is known about this species’ reproduction and development. A juvenile specimen showed that no permanent teeth had broken the gum line, although the deciduous teeth had come in. (Schlitter, 1974)

Breeding season: Breeding probably occurs from May through September, during the rainy season.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous

The young are cared for by their mother for some time after birth but little is known of parental care and the development of the young in these animals.

Parental Investment: female parental care

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Liberiictis kuhni

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Dunham, A. & Gaubert, P.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth , J.W. & Hoffmann, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable as the species is believed to have undergone a decline of around 30% over the last 15 years (assuming a generation length of 5 years) based on the loss of habitat within its range in the upper Guinea forests, coupled with the impacts of hunting.

History
  • 1996
    Endangered
  • 1994
    Endangered
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Endangered
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Endangered
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

This species is extremely rare, and has been listed by the IUCN as endangered. Human destruction of their habitat and human hunting are the primary threats to Liberian mongooses. Owing to their rarity, they were not described until 1958, with the first complete specimens discovered as recently as 1974. An attempt to study them in 1988 yielded only one animal, which had already been killed by a hunter. More recent studies have been more successful in finding live mongooses, and one is currently living in the Metro Toronto Zoo. Political unrest in the areas in which they live has made further studies difficult in recent years, and much has yet to be discovered about the behavior of this animal in the wild, particularly in regard to its life cycle and communicative behavior.

(Nowak, 1999; Taylor, 1992)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Reliable information on their population status is not available (the first live specimen was only taken in 1989 from Nimbo When), but they are declining in many areas. Populations in Taï N.P. estimated at approximately 1.5/km² (Taylor and Dunham in press).

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Threats include habitat loss from agriculture, logging and mining, and hunting with dogs, shotguns, and snares. They may also be vulnerable to the use of pesticides in forest plantations, as worms are known to accumulate toxins at levels dangerous to mammalian predators (Taylor and Dunham in press).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
They are known to be present in Tai National Park, and camera-trap evidence has confirmed their presence in Sapo National Park in Liberia (FDA/FFI/ZSL pers. comm. 2011).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

They can be fierce when caught in a snare.

(Nowak, 1999)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Liberian mongooses are eaten by human hunters, which is one reason for their diminishing numbers.

(Taylor, 1992)

Positive Impacts: food

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!