Mungos mungo 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Herpestidae

Scientific Name: Mungos mungo (Gmelin, 1788)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Mongoose
French Mangue rayée
Viverra mungo Gmelin, 1788

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-02-28
Assessor(s): Gilchrist, J.S. & Do Linh San, E.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Hoffmann, M. & Pacifici, M.
Listed as Least Concern because the species has no major threats, has a wide distribution range, is generally common in suitable habitat, occurs in several protected areas, and adapts well to human habitation.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Distributed widely in sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and Gambia to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, and south to about 31° in South Africa. Although fairly widespread in southern Africa, the species appears to be rare in West Africa, and its presence in several countries in the region requires confirmation, including Benin and Niger (present according to Skinner and Chimimba 2005); and Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo (no records; Grubb et al. 1998). The relative scarcity of M. mungo in west Africa may be due to niche overlap with its congener, Gambian Mongoose (M. gambianus), endemic to west Africa and reported to occupy similar habitat and have a similar diet (Cant and Gilchrist 2013, van Rompaey and Sillero-Zubiri 2013). Its presence in Djibouti (north-east Africa) is also unconfirmed. Despite report of introduction to Zanzibar (Pakenham 1984), neither Stuart and Stuart (1998) nor Goldman and Winther-Hansen (2003) recorded this species during camera-trapping surveys, suggesting that it is either rare or absent. Recorded to 1,600 m a.s.l. in Ethiopia (Yalden et al. 1996).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Recorded densities vary widely between habitats and locations. Maddock (1988) estimated population density in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) at 2.4 individuals/km². On the Serengeti plains (Tanzania), density estimated as 2.2 individuals/km² (Waser et al. 1995). By contrast, a population in Queen Elizabeth N. P. (Uganda) lives at higher densities, averaging 18 individuals/km² (Cant and Gilchrist 2013).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in a wide range of habitats, but primarily found in savanna and woodland, usually close to water, and absent from desert, semi-desert and montane regions (Cant and Gilchrist 2013). Often found in habitats containing termitaria, which are used as den sites. Also observed in towns and villages. Diet consists mainly of insects, with other invertebrates, vertebrates (including reptiles, amphibians, the eggs and young of birds, small mammals), and wild fruits also consumed (Gilchrist et al. 2009, Maddock et al. in press). Flexible and known to forage on human garbage (Gilchrist and Otali 2002, Otali and Gilchrist 2004). Highly social but territorial species, living in groups of 4–29 individuals with low reproductive skew (most females breed) (Gilchrist et al. 2009), making populations less vulnerable to stochastic effects than other social mongoose species (Meerkat Suricata suricatta and Common Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula). Home range size varies from 0.61 to 2.01 km2 in Uganda (Gilchrist and Otali 2002), and is larger in more arid areas (Hiscocks and Perrin 1991). Diurnal with daily foraging distance range from 2 to 10 km (Neal 1970, Rood 1975, 1986). Dispersal occurs via voluntary fission and eviction (Cant et al. 2013). Within groups, relatedness is high within (but not between) females and males (Cant et al. 2013). In Queen Elizabeth N. P. (Uganda) Banded Mongooses breed up to four times a year, while only one to two litter(s) per year have been recorded in drier regions (Cant and Gilchrist 2013). Mean age of first conception is 321 days and mean litter size per female at birth (all females) is estimated at 3.32 (Gilchrist et al. 2004), with a gestation period of 90 days (Cant 2000). Within groups, parturition is usually synchronous (Hodge et al. 2011). Group demography impacts female reproductive success via abortion, eviction and infanticide with younger females bearing the costs (Gilchrist 2006a, Cant et al. 2013). Fecundity and reproductive success are correlated with female age and size (Gilchrist 2006b, Nichols et al. 2012). Survival rate is low in pups (0.299) and high in adults (0.857) (Otali and Gilchrist 2004). Maximum life-span is 13 years in males and 11 years in females (Cant and Gilchrist 2013). Carrier of Leptospira interrogans, a pathogen capable of infecting humans (Jobbins et al. 2013).
Generation Length (years):4.3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Acknowledged to be consumed as bushmeat (Jobbins et al. 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species, although its meat is consumed locally (Jobbins et al. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Banded Mongooses are present in numerous protected areas across their wide range on the African continent.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry

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
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Cant, M.A. 2000. Social control of reproduction in banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour 59: 147-158.

Cant, M.A. and Gilchrist, J.S. 2013. Mungos mungo Banded Mongoose. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 354-360. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Cant, M.A., Hodge, S.J., Bell, M.B.V., Gilchrist, J.S. and Nichols, H.J. 2010. Reproductive control via eviction (but not the threat of eviction) in banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277: 2219-2226.

Cant, M.A., Otali, E. and Mwanguhya, F. 2001. Eviction and dispersal in coopeatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Journal of Zoology 254: 155-162.

Cant, M.A., Vitikainen, E. and Nichols, H.J. 2013. Demography and social evolution of banded mongooses. Advances in the Study of Animal Behaviour 45: 407-445.

Gilchrist, J.S. 2006a. Female eviction, abortion, and infanticide in banded mongooses (Mungos mungo): implications for social control of reproduction and synchronized parturition. Behavioral Ecology 17: 664-669.

Gilchrist, J.S. 2006b. Reproductive success in a low skew, communal breeding mammal: the banded mongoose, Mungos mungo. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 60: 854-863.

Gilchrist, J.S. and Otali, E. 2002. The effects of refuse-feeding on home-range use, group size, and intergroup encounters in the banded mongoose. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 1795-1802.

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.

Gilchrist, J.S., Otali, E. and Mwanguhya, F. 2004. Why breed communally? Factors affecting fecundity in a communal breeding mammal: the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57: 119-131.

Goldman, H.V. and Winther-Hansen, J. 2003. First photographs of the Zanzibar servaline Genet Genetta servalina archeri and other endemic subspecies on the island of Unguja, Tanzania. Small Carnivore Conservation 29: 1-4.

Hiscocks, K. and Perrin, M.R. 1991. Den selection and use by dwarf mongooses and banded mongooses in South Africa. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 21: 119-122.

Hodge, S.J., Bell, M.B.V. and Cant, M.A. 2011. Reproductive competition and the evolution of extreme birth synchrony in a cooperative mammal. Biology Letters 7: 54-56.

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

Jobbins, S.E., Sanderson, C.E. and Alexander, K.E. 2013. Leptospira interrogans at the human–wildlife interface in northern Botswana: a newly identified public health threat. Zoonoses and Public Health 61: 113-123.

Maddock, A.H. 1988. Resource partitioning in a viverrid assemblage. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Natal.

Maddock, A.H., Do Linh San, E. and Perrin, M.R. In press. Some data on the feeding habits of the banded mongoose in a coastal area (South Africa). African Journal of Ecology.

Neal, E. 1970. The banded mongoose Mungos mungo Gmelin. East African Wildlife Journal 8: 53-71.

Nichols, H.J., Bell, M.B.V., Hodge, S.J. and Cant, M.A. 2012. Resource limitation moderates the adaptive suppression of subordinate breeding in a cooperatively breeding mongoose. Behavioral Ecology 23: 635-642.

Otali, E. and Gilchrist, J.S. 2004. The effects of refuse feeding on body condition, reproduction and survival of banded mongooses. Journal of Mammalogy 85: 491-497.

Pakenham, R.H.W. 1984. The Mammals of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Printed Privately, Harpenden.

Rood, J.P. 1975. Population dynamics and food habits of the banded mongoose. East African Wildlife Journal 13: 89-111.

Rood, J.P. 1986. Ecology and social evolution in the mongooses. In: D. Rubenstein and R. Wrangham (eds), Ecological Aspects of Social Evolution, pp. 131-152. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA.

Stuart, C. and Stuart, T. 1998. A note on the herpestids and viverrids of south-eastern Unguja (Zanzibar) Island. Small Carnivore Conservation 18: 16-17.

Van Rompaey, H. and Sillero-Zubiri, C. 2013. Mungos gambianus Gambian Mongoose. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 353-354. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Waser, P.M., Elliott, L.F., Creel, N.M. and Creel, S.R. 1995. Habitat variation and mongoose demography. In: A.R.E. Sinclair and P. Arcese (eds), Serengeti II: dynamics, management, and conservation of an ecosystem, pp. 421-447. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

Citation: Gilchrist, J.S. & Do Linh San, E. 2016. Mungos mungo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41621A45208886. . Downloaded on 17 August 2018.
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