Herpestes vitticollis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Herpestes vitticollis
Species Authority: Bennett, 1835
Common Name/s:
English Stripe-necked Mongoose, Striped-necked Mongoose
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies are recognized, H. v. vitticollis andH. v. inornatus (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003) but there has been no recent taxonomic revision.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P.
Reviewer/s: Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The stripe-necked mongoose is found in Southwest India (Mudappa 1998) and Sri Lanka (Santiapillai et al. 2000; Ratnayeke pers. comm.). In India, this species is found particularly in the Western Ghats and other hill tracts in the Nilgiris from Coorg (now Kodagu) to Travancore (Pocock 1939; Medway 1978; Prater 1971; Phillips 1984; Corbet and Hill 1992; Mudappa 1998), and Dharwar (Phillips 1929), as well as near Bombay (Blanford 1888-1891) to Cape Comorin (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar, 2003). In Sri Lanka it is found in the across a range of elevations from high hills to lowlands, being most common between 400 and 1,400 m (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003).
India; Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population assessments for the stripe-necked mongoose have been made but these are not recent (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003); nevertheless, the species appears to be relatively common in many areas of its range. In India, it is rare in the northern part of its range, and most abundant in Travancore (Jerdon 1874). It is also common on the Nilghiri and Palni plateaus (Anonymous 1935), in the High Wavy Mountains (Hutton 1949), and on the Valparai Plateau in the Anamalai Hills (D. Mudappa pers. comm.). It is not uncommon in Coorg, although less common than Herpestes edwardsii (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). In Sri Lanka, it used to be fairly common in the higher hills of the Central Provinces, but seems to be declining (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). It is relatively common in the Sri Lankan interior (Blyth 1851) and is "moderately plentiful" in the Horton Plains area and around Gamaduwa (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). The species is not uncommon in the low-country Dry Zone along the banks of the Menik Ganga (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003), and is present, but not common, in the Wet Zone in the Kalutara District (Phillips 1984).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The stripe-necked mongoose has been recorded in deciduous and evergreen forest, swampy clearings, plantations, open scrub and along watercourses (Webb-Peploe 1947, Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). In deciduous forests it is usually found in swampy clearings, along watercourses, and in open scrub (Krishnan 1972) as well as in rice fields. Of 11 sightings in a protected area, seven were in dry deciduous forest, three in moist deciduous forest, and one in a teak plantation (R. Arumugam, in litt 2003). In Valprai in the Anamalai Hills, there were a dozen sightings between April and December of 2002, with animals seen foraging along streams in riverine forests and swamps, and also in tea plantations (Mudappa, D. pers. comm.). In Sri Lanka, its distribution may encompass lowland dry zone forest and it is rarely sighted in disturbed areas or close to human settlements (Ratnayeke pers. comm.), however, the species is adaptable and can tolerate relatively high disturbance.

The stripe-necked mongoose is more common in the hills than in the lowlands (Hill 1939), and has been found up to 2,200 m (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003; Mudappa pers. comm.). It is diurnal and feeds on small mammals, birds, birds' eggs, reptiles, fish, insects, grubs, and roots (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). The typical litter size is two to three and an animal in captivity was recorded as living for nearly 13 years (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the global population of the stripe-necked mongoose, although major threats are present at the local scale in the form of hunting and trade. This species is hunted for meat that is eaten by several tribes and for its hair that is used for making shaving brushes, paint brushes, and good luck charms (Hanfee and Ahmed 1999). They are also regularly killed by hunting dogs (Adams 1931; Webb-Peploe 1947). All mongoose species are in demand for the wildlife trade (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar, 2003), however, this threat is regional in scale. The loss of habitat is a threat (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003), however, there is likely no significant level of population decline at the species scale.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The stripe-necked mongoose is on Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and has been recorded from many protected areas throughout its range (Van Rompaey and Jayakumar 2003). The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix III.
Citation: Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. 2008. Herpestes vitticollis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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