Pousargues's mongoose

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Pousargues' mongoose
Dologale Dybowskii - Chinko Project Area - 20120516.jpg
Wild Pousargues' Mongoose in the Chinko Project Area.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Herpestidae
Subfamily: Herpestinae
Genus: Dologale
Thomas, 1920
Species: D. dybowskii
Binomial name
Dologale dybowskii
Pousargues, 1893
Pousargues' Mongoose area.png
Pousargues's mongoose range

The Pousargues's mongoose (Dologale dybowskii), also known as the African tropical savannah mongoose, is the only species in the genus Dologale.

Little is known about this species. Its range is confined to an area within the south-eastern part of the Central African Republic, and as of 2015 there had been only 31 museum specimens and a handful of sightings in the wild.[2]

Description and behaviour[edit]

Pousargues's Mongoose has a body length between 25 and 33 cms (9.8 - 13 inches), a tail length between 16 and 23 cms (6.3 - 9 inches), and weighs between 300 and 400 g (10.6 - 14.1 oz). They are brown in colour with their underside and face being grey. They have a bushy tail and strong claws on their front feet.[3]

Field work carried out between 2011 and 2015 in the south eastern part of Central African Republic revealed a population of Pousargue's Mongoose animals in the Chinko Project Area. The studied Pousargues’s mongoose population shares its jungle home with eight different species of mongoose, and Pousargues’s Mongoose seem to occur in much lower densities than most other mongoose in the Chinko Project Area.

Observations from the Chinko show that Pousargues’s mongoose lives in small groups ranging from three to 12 individuals which move between their favourite termite mounds on a regular basis. Breeding has been observed taking place in mid-May during the early rainy season. A small group of three adults have been observed caring for an infant, carrying it around in their mouths. A first genetic survey based on collected scat samples, shows the Pousargues’s mongoose being a close relative of the forest dwelling Kusimanse crossarchus.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Pousargue's mongoose is native to open savanna areas of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, western Uganda, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.[4][5]

Conservation status[edit]

The Pousargues's mongoose is listed as data deficient by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an unknown population trend.[1] There have been limited sightings of this animal in the wild, and only a few museum specimens exist. While this may indicate that the species is rare or threatened, the IUCN believes that its similar appearance and location may cause it to be mistaken for the Common Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula). If so, the animal may be reclassified as Least Concern.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Aebischer, T.; Hickisch, R.; Woolgar, J. & Do Linh San, E. (2015). "Dologale dybowskii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 November 2015.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of data deficient
  2. ^ a b Thierry Aebischer & Raffael Hickisch (July 20, 2015). "Pousargues's mongoose rediscovered after 20 years". Africa Geographic. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Pousargues's Mongoose". The Animal Files. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ R. F. Ewer (1 January 1998). The Carnivores. Cornell University Press. p. 403. ISBN 0-8014-8493-6. 
  5. ^ Don E. Wilson; DeeAnn M. Reeder (16 November 2005). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. JHU Press. p. 564. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0.