Cynictis penicillata


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cynictis penicillata
Species Authority: (G.[Baron] Cuvier, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Mongoose
French Mangouste fauve, Mangouste jaune

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Taylor, P.J. & Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) and Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as the species is relatively widespread and common (sometimes occurring at high densities), there are currently no major threats, and it is present in several protected areas.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Confined to southern Africa, with a marginal intrusion into extreme south-western Angola. Within this range, they occupy the drier western parts, being widespread in Namibia, Botswana and much of C and W South Africa, but absent from the Namib Desert and Caprivi Strip in Namibia, the Okavango in Botswana, Zimbabwe (except for an extreme western record), and the easterly regions of southern Africa (P.J. Taylor in press).
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa; Swaziland; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population densities vary, with the highest densities reported for grassland regions of South Africa. A population density of 6.0-7.1 individuals/100 ha was estimated in the West Coast N.P. of South Africa (Cavallini 1993, Cavallini and Nel 1995).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Predominantly a species of open grassland, scrub and arid savannas in the drier, semi-arid, western parts of southern Africa. Due to their use of burrows, rocky and hard soils are avoided (P.J. Taylor in press). Predominantly insectivorous, but opportunistic and will hunt rodents, birds, other vertebrates, and arachnids (P.J. Taylor in press). The Yellow Mongoose is the primary host for the viverrid strain of rabies endemic to the interior plateau of South Africa, where Yellow Mongoose population densities are highest. The role of the Yellow Mongoose as a maintenance host is promoted by its diurnal and colonial, burrow-living habits (P.J. Taylor in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Yellow Mongoose occurs in numerous protected areas across its range in southern Africa.

Citation: Taylor, P.J. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Cynictis penicillata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
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