Cynictis penicillata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Herpestidae

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: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Do Linh San, E., Cavallini, P. & Taylor, P.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Hoffmann, M.
It is listed as Least Concern because this 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is confined to southern Africa, with a marginal intrusion into extreme southwestern Angola. Within this range, it  occupies the drier western parts, being widespread in Namibia, Botswana and much of central and western South Africa, but absent from the Namib Desert and Caprivi Strip in Namibia, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Zimbabwe (except for an extreme western record), and the easterly regions of southern Africa (Taylor 2013). It is probably extinct from Lesotho (N. Avenant pers. comm. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Namibia; South Africa; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population densities vary tremendously, probably depending on habitat productivity, predation pressure and maybe interspecific competition. Earlé (1981) reported a record high density of 133–200 individuals/km2 in Vaal Dam (Free State), whereas a "low" density of 6.0–7.1 individuals/km2 was estimated in the West Coast N. P. (Western Cape; Cavallini 1993, Cavallini and Nel 1995). Similar densities were observed by Do Linh San et al. (unpublished data) in the Great Fish River Reserve (Eastern Cape; 4–10 individuals/km2) and by le Roux et al. (2008) in the Kuruman River Reserve (Northern Cape; 4–14 individuals/km2). Finally, an intermediate density of 23–26 individuals/km2 was recorded by Balmforth (2004) in a population living in a farmland near Heidelberg (Western Cape).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is predominantly a species of open grassland, scrub and arid savannas in the drier, semi-arid, western parts of southern Africa. Because of its use of burrows, rocky and hard soils are avoided (Taylor 2013). It is predominantly insectivorous, but opportunistic and will hunt rodents, birds, other vertebrates and arachnids (Taylor 2013). 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 (Taylor 2013).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species, though the possible local impact of road mortality might be worth investigating. In addition, there has been a report of local hunting with dogs and shooting of Yellow Mongooses on farmland near Heidelberg (Western Cape, South Africa) where this species is regarded as a pest because of burrow construction in crop areas. This did not seem to have had any significant impact on the population which still lives at a higher density than in natural areas (Balmforth 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Yellow Mongoose occurs in numerous protected areas across its range in southern Africa, including Etosha N. P., the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, West Coast N. P., Mountain Zebra N.P., Addo N. P. and the Great Fish River Reserve.

Citation: Do Linh San, E., Cavallini, P. & Taylor, P. 2015. Cynictis penicillata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41597A45205726. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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