Herpestes edwardsii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Herpestes edwardsii
Species Authority: (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1818)
Common Name/s:
English Indian Grey Mongoose
Taxonomic Notes: Four subspecies are listed by Corbet and Hill (1992), but a taxonomic revision is needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor/s: Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D., Yonzon, P., Jennings, A. & Geraldine, V.
Reviewer/s: Duckworth , J.W. & Schipper, J.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population and adaptability to human-dominated landscapes, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
2008 Least Concern (IUCN 2008)
2008 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Indian Grey Mongoose is found from Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Indonesia, and has been introduced on Japan (Corbet and Hill, 1980; Wells 1989; Wozencraft 2005). This species does not occur on the Ryukyu Islands or Mauritius; the possible records on these islands are only confusion with Herpestes javanicus perpetuated in the literature (S. Roy pers. comm.). The species' elevation range is from 0 to approximately 2500 m (Divya Mudappa pers. comm.).
Afghanistan; Bahrain; Bhutan; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kuwait; Malaysia; Mauritius (Mauritius (main island) - Introduced); Nepal; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Sri Lanka
Japan (Nansei-shoto)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is thought to be common and abundant throughtout its range. One study in central India, where the species is common, found its abundance even decreased moving from human settlement towards undisturbed forests (Shekhar 2003).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The habitat and ecology of the Indian Grey Mongoose is known from few studies, however, it has been recorded in disturbed areas, in dry secondary forests, and thorn forests (Shekhar 2003), but seems to be a commensal with humans as well. This species was often recorded near human settlements by Shekhar (2003) in a survey in central India during 2002-03, where it was seen near garbage bins, garbage dumps, scavenging on carrion, and on roads. The species seems to be most common in disturbed areas, in dry secondary forests and thorn forests. This species has been found up to 2,100 m (Corbet and Hill 1992) and feeds on insects and snakes (Santiapillai et al. 2000).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has no major threats occurring across the whole of its range, however, it does experience some regional threats. Shekhar (2003) notes that the grey mongoose is often captured and sold as a pet. Gypsies from northern India use hook snares to capture individuals for skins, which are then sold in local markets in Nepal (Shekhar 2003). All mongoose species are in demand for the wildlife trade (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003): the meat is eaten by several tribes and the hair is used for making shaving brushes, paint brushes, and good luck charms (Hanfee and Ahmed 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Indian Grey Mongoose is listed on CITES Appendix III in India (Wozencraft 2005). In 2002 in India, the government upgraded the Mongoose species, to Part II of Schedule II of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. In central India people consider the mongoose to be sacred and thus it is not killed there (Shekhar 2003). This species is found in numerous protected areas. Field surveys, ecological studies, habitat protection and monitoring of threats are needed.
Citation: Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D., Yonzon, P., Jennings, A. & Geraldine, V. 2011. Herpestes edwardsii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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