Herpestes smithii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Herpestidae

Scientific Name: Herpestes smithii
Species Authority: Gray, 1837
Common Name(s):
English Ruddy Mongoose
Urva smithii Gray, 1837
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies are recognized by Corbet and Hill (1992) but further taxonomic studies are needed.

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 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 unknown but the population is not suspected to be declining at a rate sufficient to qualify 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 (> 2000 m) of southern India, as well as in human-dominated agricultural landscapes. More information is needed to determine the true status of this species and there is a need to monitor its trends.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The ruddy mongoose is found in Southern India: Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Yoganand and Kumar 1995), central India (Shekhar 2003) and Sri Lanka (Ratnayeke pers. comm.). There are recent records in northern India from Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh, Sariska TR, and Rajasthan.
Countries occurrence:
India; Sri Lanka
Lower 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 the ruddy mongoose is unknown, but the species is believed to be common in some forests of central India (Shekhar 2003).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The ecology of the ruddy mongoose remains to be studied. Most records of this species are from forested areas including dry forests, dry thorn areas, and disturbed forests, although there are also fewer records from open areas and secluded rice paddy fields (Divya Mudappa pers comm. 2006). In India, this species was found exclusively in dry forests, and was never sighted near human settlements (Shekhar 2003). The elevation range is 50 to 2,200 m in South India (Divya Mudappa pers comm. 2006).

The ruddy mongoose is crepuscular, hunting by day as well as by night, and leads an at least partially arboreal existence, as it hunts, feeds, and rests in trees (Shekhar 2003). In India, it is frequently sighted scavenging road kill (Shekhar 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known of direct threats to the ruddy mongoose but there appear to be no major threats to the global population. Local-scale major threats include hunting and snaring by local tribes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix III (Wozencraft 2005), and Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife (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  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Unknown  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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

Wozencraft, W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Yoganand, T.R.K. and Kumar, A. 1995. The distributions of small carnivores in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, southern India: A prelminary report. Small Carnivore Conservation 13: 1–2.

Citation: Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. 2008. Herpestes smithii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41617A10512205. . Downloaded on 28 May 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided