Suricata suricatta


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Suricata suricatta
Species Authority: (Schreber, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Meerkat, Slender-tailed Meerkat, Suricate

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Macdonald, D. & 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 within southern Africa, present in several protected areas, and there are no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Widespread in the western parts of southern Africa, including western and southern Namibia, south-western Botswana, and north and west South Africa, with a very marginal intrusion into extreme south-western Angola (Macdonald in press). They may occur in the lowlands of Lesotho (Lynch 1994).
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Namibia; South Africa
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Densities can fluctuate greatly across the range, and are influenced by rainfall and predation. In the Kalahari Gemsbok N.P., South Africa, densities declined from 1 animals/km² in April 1994 to 0.32 animals/km² in May 1995 following a reduction in rainfall (Clutton-Brock et al. 1999).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inhabitant of arid, open country, characterized by short grasses and sparse woody growth. They are absent from true desert and forested areas, and also from mountainous terrain (Macdonald in press). Carnivorous, feeding mostly on invertebrates.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: They are present in several large and well-managed protected areas, including the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Bibliography [top]

Clutton Brock, T. H., Maccoll, A. D. C., Manser, M., Brotherton, P. N. M., Gaynor, D., Mcilrath, G. M., Kansky, R., Chadwick, P. and Skinner, J. D. 1999. Predation, group size and mortality in a cooperative mongoose, Suricata suricatta. Journal of Animal Ecology 68: 672-683.

Lynch, C. D. 1994. The mammals of Lesotho. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum Bloemfontein 10(4): 177-241.

Macdonald, D. W. In press. Suricata suricatta. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Citation: Macdonald, D. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Suricata suricatta. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 02 April 2015.
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