Herpestes fuscus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Herpestes fuscus
Species Authority: Waterhouse, 1838
Common Name(s):
English Brown Mongoose, Indian Brown Mongoose
Urva fusca Waterhouse, 1838
Taxonomic Notes: The Sri Lankan and Indian populations may be separate subspecies and Corbet and Hill (1992) recognized four subspecies (fuscus, phillipsi, siccatus and rubidor). A taxonomic revision is needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Muddapa, D., Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C. & Yonzon, P.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Vulnerable because of a suspected population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (taken as 15 years where the generation length estimated at minimally 5 years), inferred from habitat destruction and degradation (Menon and Bowa 1997). Although little is known about the comprehensive population estimates for the species, current data indicate that it is likely naturally rare, and therefore maybe more susceptible to major habitat loss and degradation. Further information is necessary on the effects of land-use change on this species and on other threats.
2000 Data Deficient
1996 Not Evaluated

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The current distribution range for the Indian brown mongoose includes southern India (Yoganand and Kumar 1995; Mudappa 2002) and Sri Lanka. In South India it is found from 700 to 1,300 m from Virajpet in south Coorg and Ooty in the Nilgiri hills, Tiger Shola in the Palni hills, High Wavy Mountains in Madurai, Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Agasthyamalai hills, Valparai plateau in the Anamalai hills, and Peeramedu in Kerala (Pocock 1939, Prater 1971, Corbet and Hill 1992, Mudappa 1998, 2001).
India; Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population status of the Indian brown mongoose is poorly known, but it is apparently naturally rare to uncommon, as it was recorded only four times between 1996 and 1999 in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in India (Mudappa 2002). In the tea and coffee plantation dominated Valparai plateau (900-1,400 m) in the Anamalai hills, it is relatively more common than in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Mudappa, D. unpublished data).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Very little is known about the habitat and ecology of the Indian brown mongoose. It has been recorded within dense forest and adjacent man-modified areas (Mudappa 2002). This is most likely a crepuscular to nocturnal (Mudappa 1998, 2002). It was observed inside or adjacent to rainforests, as well as near garbage dumps in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in India (Mudappa, 2002). The species occurs in coffee plantations and mid-elevation tropical forests and shola-grasslands in parts of Sri Lanka (Prater 1989), and within rainforest fragments and adjacent to them in tea and coffee plantations in Anamalai hills (Mudappa 2001, Muddapa D. unpublished data).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Specific threats to the Indian brown mongoose are not well known, but habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are likely to have major impacts on populations (Mudappa D. personal observation). Further research is necessary to understand the impacts of the various potential threats the species is exposed to.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix III.
The Indian brown mongoose has been recorded in a few protected areas in the southern Western Ghats, India (Mudappa 2002). Urgent field surveys, ecological studies, habitat protection and monitoring of any threats are needed.

Citation: Muddapa, D., Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C. & Yonzon, P. 2008. Herpestes fuscus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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