Shadow30's picture

Mongoose sp St. Kitts 1

Observed: 15th October 2000 By: Shadow30Shadow30’s reputation in MammalsShadow30’s reputation in MammalsShadow30’s reputation in Mammals
Mongoose sp St. Kitts 1
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Syrphus's picture

Two minutes on Google will

Two minutes on Google will give you the answer and allow you to post your own ID to species.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

Shadow30's picture

Mongoose sp St. Kitts 1

Sorry, I don't follow.

John

Syrphus's picture

Part of the aim of this site

Part of the aim of this site is to encourage beginners to do their own IDs, rather than rely on others. If you do as I suggest, you should find the answer very quickly, and also learn a bit more about why you saw it there at all. Then add the ID, and others will have the opportunity to agree.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

laurel's picture

Mongoose

Are there a lot of mongooses on St Kitts?

the naturalist man's picture

Mongoose

Normally Syrphus would be right and it should be easy to identify this mongoose to species level from a quick scan of Google. However, in this case it is not so easy I'm afraid. The trouble is taxonomists can not agree on the status of the small Asian mongoose group. There are three recognised mongoose in the group with freely interchangeable english names (small Asian, small Indian, and Javan mongoose), these are Herpestes auropunctatus, Herpestes javanicus and Herpestes palustris. Some say they are all seperate species and others say they H. auropunctatus and H. palustris are just sub-species of H. javanicus. Yet others have argued for every combination between.

I always use the IUCN Red Data list web site as the definitive when such confusion arises (though it has let me down in the past as taxonomy moves faster than even such influential web sites can be updated). It has H. javanicus as the nominate (main) species and has it as the species released onto St Kitts and Nevis - as does the St Kitts and Nevis government's web site. However, another five web sites and two mammal books have H. auropunctatus as the species on St Kitts & Nevis. It just goes to show you have to be careful what you read on the web or in books!

Who do you believe? I've plumped for small Asian mongoose (simply because it is more descriptive of its distribution) and H. javanicus (because the IUCN use this species name) but I could be wrong. I've added an identification to this effect but also agreed to your identification.

Incidentally, mongoose were released onto St Kitts and Nevis in 1883 to control the rats, but as with many such biological controls it went seriously wrong! Trouble is rats come out at night and mongoose during the day so never the twain shall meet; they have helped control the snake populations, even putting some on the endangered list! IUCN have mongoose as one of the most damaging introduced species ever. Yet we still have not learnt from our mistakes, they were released onto Amami, an island in the Japanese achaepeligo as late as 1997, and guess what, they are already a pest! I'm not sure how many are on St Kitts and Nevis though I suspect they are numerous as the island's government have a control programme and generally wherever mongoose are released they increase to pest proportions.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

Syrphus's picture

I think the problem (as you

I think the problem (as you have explained) is one of nomenclature rather than wrong ID, Graham. I would not have chosen that particular name, but by at least one taxonomy I think it is correct.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.