Herpestes smithii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Herpestidae

Scientific Name: Herpestes smithii Gray, 1837
Common Name(s):
English Ruddy Mongoose
Urva smithii (Gray, 1837)
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies are recognised by Corbet and Hill (1992) but there has been no recent taxonomic review.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Mudappa, D. & Choudhury, A.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Jathanna, D. & Wozencraft, C, Yonzon, P.
Ruddy Mongoose is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. The impacts of habitat loss and degradation and hunting on populations are not precisely known, but the population is unlikely to be declining at a rate sufficient to qualify even for Near Threatened. This species not only has a wide geographical distribution, but it also occurs in varied vegetation types from arid regions in the plains of northern and western India to high altitudes (over 2,000 m) of southern India, as well as in human-dominated agricultural landscapes.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ruddy Mongoose is found in much of India (but not the North-east; Choudhury 2013), Sri Lanka, and - one recent photo-documented record only - Nepal (e.g., Corbet and Hill 1992, Mudappa 2013, Subba et al. 2014). Distribution records in the north-west of the range were reviewed by Dookia (2013).
Countries occurrence:
India; Nepal; Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population status of Ruddy Mongoose is not well known, but it is evidently common in at least some parts of India (e.g., Shekhar 2003). Recent extensions of known range to the north-east (Nepal) and north-west (Rajasthan) include areas where the species seems uncommon.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The ecology of Ruddy Mongoose remains little known. Most records are from open forest, including dry forests, dry thorn areas, and disturbed forests, although there are also records, albeit fewer, from anthropogenic open dry areas and secluded rice paddy fields (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2006). The elevation range is 50 to 2,200 m in South India (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2006).

Ruddy Mongoose is perhaps partly crepuscular, although there are many records by day and some by night. It climbs in trees at least occasionally (D. Mudappa pers. comm. 2015), but evidently spends most of it time at ground level.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Mongooses are harvested to some extent in much of India for fur and medicine but there is no strong suggestion that this occurs at levels sufficient to reduce populations of this species except potentially at local levels.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to the global Ruddy Mongoose population. Local-scale threats include hunting and snaring by local tribes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Indian Ruddy Mongoose population is listed on CITES Appendix III, and Schedule IV of Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. In central India people consider the mongoose to be sacred, and thus it is not killed there (Shekhar 2003). The species occurs in numerous protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes

Bibliography [top]

Choudhury, A. 2013. The mammals of North east India. Gibbon Books and the Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati, Assam, India.

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Dookia, S. 2013. Recent sightings of Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii in Eserna hill range, Jalore, Rajasthan, India: northwest extension of its known range. Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 25–27.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Mudappa, D. 2013. Herpestids, viverrids, and mustelids of south Asia. In: A.J.T. Johnsingh and N. Manjrekar (eds), Mammals of South Asia Vol. 1, pp. 471–498. Permanent Black, New Delhi, India.

Shekhar, S.K. 2003. The status of mongooses in central India. Small Carnivore Conservation 29: 22–23.

Sreehari, R., Fredy, C.T., Anand, R., Aneesh, C.R. and Nameer, P.O. 2013. Recent records of Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii and Brown Mongoose H. fuscus from Kerala, southern Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 49: 34–36.

Subba, S.A., Malla, S., Dhakal, M., Thapa, B.B., Dhakal, T., Bajracharya, P. and Gurung, G. 2014. Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii: a new species for Nepal. Small Carnivore Conservation 51: 88–89.

Citation: Mudappa, D. & Choudhury, A. 2016. Herpestes smithii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41617A45208195. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
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