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Monday, 8 October 2012

"M" is for Mongoose

CCF has carried out a number of camera trapping surveys, and also maintains a network of cameras positioned for ongoing monitoring of the wildlife on our land.  While we are mainly focused on cheetahs, there are many other species out there, and the cameras will trigger no matter what passes them by.  In this series of weekly blog entries, I will use these pictures to illustrate some of the wealth of animal life in Namibia - one species per week.  I hope you will enjoy seeing a little more of our world here in the bush.

When referencing African wildlife most people automatically think of the megafauna while the smaller species tend to be forgotten.  So today’s blog will highlight one of these overlooked animals: the banded mongoose.

The banded mongoose is a small yet sturdy animal that can weigh between 1.5 to 2kg.  They are dark brown/grey in colour with brown bands running down their body and tail.

Unlike most mongoose species that are solitary, the banded mongoose lives in large social groups where all the females mate and produce young.  When the groups get too big some of the younger females will be pushed out of the group by the older females and males and will form groups of their own.

They are listed as least concern by the IUCN and can be found throughout East and South-central Africa; they are extremely adaptable and live in a variety of habitats such as savannah, open forests and grassland, although they do prefer to stay near water.  Their main diet consists of beetles, millipedes and other insects but they will also feed on small frogs, birds and eggs to sustain their diet. 

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