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Small Indian Mongoose

MongooseScientific Name: Herpestes ‘auropunctatus

History: Introduced in 1883 from Jamaica (originally from India), to control rat populations in the sugar cane fields. However, because the mongoose is diurnal and the rat primarily nocturnal, they were not an effective bio-control.

Distribution & Biology: Preferred habitat are lowland areas, however they can be found in mid and high elevations as well (up to 7000 ft). Females produce 2-3 pups up to twice a year. Mongoose are opportunistic feeders and will feed on on fruit, carrion, eggs, insects, snails, frogs, lizards, fish, crabs, birds, turtle hatchlings and rodents

Ecological Impact: Mongoose predation on eggs and fledglings is a serious threat to ground-nesting birds, including native species, domestic poultry, gamebirds, and colonial seabirds. In particular, the mongoose has contributed to reducing populations of the following native, endangered birds: Hawaiian Goose (Nene), Hawaiian Duck (Koloa), Hawaiian Stilt (Ae’o) and Hawaiian Coot (Alae ke’o ke’o), Hawaiian Moorhen (‘Alae’ula)Newell’s Shearwater (‘A’o) and Wedge-tailed Shearwater (‘Ua’ukani)

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