Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The ruddy mongoose is found in Southern India: Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Yoganand and Kumar 1995), central India (Shekhar 2003) and Sri Lanka (Ratnayeke pers. comm.). There are recent records in northern India from Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh, Sariska TR, and Rajasthan.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The ecology of the ruddy mongoose remains to be studied. Most records of this species are from forested areas including dry forests, dry thorn areas, and disturbed forests, although there are also fewer records from open areas and secluded rice paddy fields (Divya Mudappa pers comm. 2006). In India, this species was found exclusively in dry forests, and was never sighted near human settlements (Shekhar 2003). The elevation range is 50 to 2,200 m in South India (Divya Mudappa pers comm. 2006).

The ruddy mongoose is crepuscular, hunting by day as well as by night, and leads an at least partially arboreal existence, as it hunts, feeds, and rests in trees (Shekhar 2003). In India, it is frequently sighted scavenging road kill (Shekhar 2003).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 17.8 years (captivity) Observations: One wild born specimen was about 17.8 years of age when it died 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
2008

Assessor/s
Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. The impacts of habitat loss and degradation and hunting on populations are unknown but the population is not suspected to be declining at a rate sufficient to qualify for Near Threatened. This species not only has a wide geographical distribution, but it also occurs in varied vegetation types from arid regions in the plains of northern and western India to high altitudes (> 2000 m) of southern India, as well as in human-dominated agricultural landscapes. More information is needed to determine the true status of this species and there is a need to monitor its trends.
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Population

Population
The population status of the ruddy mongoose is unknown, but the species is believed to be common in some forests of central India (Shekhar 2003).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Little is known of direct threats to the ruddy mongoose but there appear to be no major threats to the global population. Local-scale major threats include hunting and snaring by local tribes.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix III (Wozencraft 2005), and Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. In central India people consider the mongoose to be sacred, and thus it is not killed there (Shekhar 2003). The species occurs in numerous protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Ruddy mongoose

The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is a species of mongoose found in hill forests of peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This mongoose along with the striped-necked mongoose are the only mongoose species endemic to India and Sri Lanka.

The ruddy mongoose is a very closely related to Indian grey mongoose, but distinguished by its slightly larger size and black tipped tail extending for 2 to 3 inches at the distal end. There are two sub-species of this mongoose, H. smithii smithii in India, and H. smithii zeylanicus (Thomas, 1852) in Sri Lanka.[1][2]

A ruddy mongoose in Panna Tiger Reserve, India

The ruddy mongoose is mainly a forest living animal in contrast to the grey and small Indian mongooses and prefers more secluded areas. They have also been recorded from secluded paddy fields and in comparatively open fields. Like other mongooses, it hunts by day and by night.[3]

In Culture[edit]

In Sri Lanka this animal is called mugatiya by the Sinhala speaking community. Usually regarded as an unlikable animal and a pest. The golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis), altogether a different species endemic to Sri Lanka, is also called hotambuwa due to similar appearance and coloration.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. 2008. Herpestes smithii. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.wii.gov.in/envis/envisdec99/ruddymongoose.htm
  3. ^ ISBN 019562169-7 The Book of Indian Animals, SH Prater, 3rd ed
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