Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Eupleridae

Scientific Name: Galidia elegans
Species Authority: I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1837
Common Name(s):
English Ring-tailed Vontsira, Ring-tailed Mongoose, Malagasy Ring-tailed Mongoose
Taxonomic Notes: There are three described subspecies: an eastern race (G. e. elegans) found in the eastern rainforests; a western race (G. e. occidentalis) found in deciduous forests in the central western parts; and a northern race (G. e. dambrensis) in the north.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hawkins, A.F.A.
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread, locally abundant in appropriate habitat, and present in many protected areas across its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Madagascar where it is widespread in the eastern, northern and western forests from sea level to around 1,950 m asl on the Andringitra massif (Albignac 1973; Goodman 1997).
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is the most common and widespread native carnivore species on Madagascar (Goodman 2003).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This largely terrestrial, diurnal species is present in tropical humid lowland and montane forest, and tropical dry deciduous forest in the west of its range. An agile climber, it has occassionaly been seen in trees, and is also an adept swimmer. It has been recorded preying on crayfish in freshwater (Dunham 1997). It is recorded from secondary forests, although only where immediately adjacent to primary forest, and can be found at the forest edge, close to areas of slash-and-burn cultivation. This species is also regularly known to scavenge in human refuse in primary forest camps. Animals typically spend the night in burrows in the forest. Although sometimes solitary, it is a social species usually found in pairs with up to three offspring (Dunham 1997).The gestation period is unclear, but it appears to be between 52 and 90 days, after which a single young is born (Goodman 2003). Sexual maturity is attained at about two years.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species, which remains widespread, is found at reasonably high population densities, and it occurs in a number of protected areas and even persists in forest fragments. As with most forest-dwelling animals in Madagascar, deforestation for the conversion of forested areas to cultivated land is the most important threat. This species is also certainly hunted in some areas, and is persecuted for raiding local poultry (Golden 2005) and killed by dogs accompanying hunters in the forest. Certain parts of the animal (e.g. the tail) are used for cultural purposes by some tribal groups (Goodman 2003). Competition with the introduced Viverricula indica and feral cats and dogs may threaten this species in parts of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in many protected areas including Ranomafana, Mantadia, Marojejy, Montagne d'Ambre and Bemaraha National Parks, and Analamazaotra Special Reserve. Further field research on the taxonomic distinction of both the northern and western subspecies from the eastern nominate subspecies would be useful.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Handicrafts, jewellery, etc.
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Albignac, R. 1973. Mammiferes carnivores. Faune de Madagascar. ORSTOM/CNRS, Paris, France.

Dunham, A. E. 1998. Notes on the behaviour of the Ring-tailed mongoose, Galidia elegans, at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Small Carnivore Conservation 19: 21-23.

Garbutt, N. 1999. Mammals of Madagascar. Pica Press, East Sussex, UK.

Goodman, S. M. 2003. Carnivora: Galidia elegans, Ring-tailed Mongoose, Vontsira Mena. In: S. M. Goodman and J. P. Benstead (eds), The Natural History of Madagascar, pp. 1351-1354. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA and London, UK.

Perschke, M. 1996. Mongooses in the Tsimbazaza Zoo and the Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Small Carnivore Conservation 14: 1.

Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 1989. Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives. An Action Plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Citation: Hawkins, A.F.A. 2008. Galidia elegans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39426A10237125. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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