Crossarchus obscurus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Herpestidae

Scientific Name: Crossarchus obscurus
Species Authority: F.G. Cuvier, 1825
Common Name(s):
English Common Cusimanse, Long-nosed Cusimanse, Cusimanse
French Mangouste brune
Taxonomic Notes: Considered conspecific with Crossarchus platycephalus by Wozencraft (1993), but here treated as a distinct species following Van Rompaey and Colyn (1992), Colyn and Van Rompaey (1994) and Colyn et al. (1995). The separation of C. obscurus from C. platycephalus has been supported by a recent exhaustive study based on craniometric and molecular analyses (Sonet et al. 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Angelici, F.M. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Goldman, A., Dunham, A. & Hoffmann, M.
This species is listed as Least Concern as it is relatively widely distributed in a variety of habitats, fairly common, and present in several protected areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the rainforests of southwest and southeast Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and extending just east of R. Volta (Goldman and Dunham 2013). It ranges from sea level to around 1,000 m asl in Sierra Leone (Gilchrist et al. 2009) and 1,500 m asl on Mt Nimba in Guinea (Goldman and Dunham 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is common. Population density in riparian forest of Taï N. P. was estimated at 13.2 individuals/km2 (Goldman and Dunham 2013).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found primarily in dense undergrowth of rainforest, but also in farm bush, logged forest and plantations. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is also found in humid savanna zone, and in gallery forests of savanna, and in Ghana found on the Accra Plain (observed foraging in a dry open area of grassland and thicket; Goldman and Dunham 2013).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is used as bushmeat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats, but it may be vulnerable to hunting in some regions (e.g., Guinea, where it was one of the most commonly trapped small carnivores; Colyn et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in several protected areas across the range, including Mt Sangbé, Maraouhé and Comoé National Parks in Côte d’Ivoire and Western Area Forest Reserve in Sierra Leone (Goldman and Dunham 2013).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Colyn, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 1994. A biogeographic study of cusimanses (Crossarchus) (Carnivora, Herpestidae) in the Zaire basin. Journal of Biogeography 21: 479-489.

Colyn, M., Dethier, M., Ngegueu, P., Perpete, O. and Van Rompaey, H. 1995. First observations of Crossarchus platycephalus (Goldman, 1984) in the Zaire/Congo system (Dja River, southeastern Cameroon). Small Carnivore Conservation 12: 10-11.

Colyn, M., Dufour, S., Condé, P.C. and Van Rompaey, H. 2004. The importance of small carnivores in forest bushmeat hunting in the Classified Forest of Diecké, Guinea. Small Carnivore Conservation 31: 15-18.

Gilchrist, J.S., Jennings, A.P., Veron, G. and Cavallini, P. 2009. Family Herpestidae (Mongooses). In: D.E. Wilson and R.A. Mittermeier (eds), Handbook of the Mammals of the World. 1. Carnivores, pp. 262-328. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Goldman, C.A. and Dunham, A.E. 2013. Crossarchus obscurus Common Cusimanse. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 378-381. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Sonet, G., Colyn, M., Verheyen, E., Nagy, Z.T., Wendelen, W., Van Rompaey, H. and Hulselmans, J. 2014. Afrotropical forest-dwelling mongooses (Mammalia: Herpestidae: Crossarchus) investigated by craniometry and mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 52(4): 323-330.

Van Rompaey, H. and Colyn, M. 1992. Crossarchus ansorgei. Mammalian Species 402: 1-3.

Wozencraft, W.C. 1993. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Second Edition, pp. 279-344. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Angelici, F.M. & Do Linh San, E. 2015. Crossarchus obscurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41595A45205532. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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