Common grey mongoose, Common gray mongoose, Common mongoose, Indian grey mongoose
The Indian grey mongoose (Urva edwardsii ) is a mongoose species native to the Indian subcontinent and West Asia. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. The grey mongoose inhabits open forests, scrublands and cultivated fields, often close to human habitation. It lives in burrows, hedgerows and thickets, among groves of trees, and takes shelter under rocks or bushes and even in drains. It is very bold and inquisitive but wary, seldom venturing far from cover. It climbs very well. Usually found singly or in pairs. It preys on rodents, snakes, birds’ eggs and hatchlings, lizards, and a variety of invertebrates. Along the Chambal River it occasionally feeds on gharial eggs. It breeds throughout the year.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily but not solely, underground. Some examples are badgers, naked mole-rats, clams, ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Generally solitary animals are those animals that spend their time separately but will gather at foraging areas or sleep in the same location or sh...
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
A mongoose is a long, furry animal with a pointy face and bushy tail. They are not rodents, despite popular belief. They belong to the Herpestidae family, which includes meerkats and civets. The Indian gray mongoose can survive a cobra attack, which few animals can, making it one of this deadly snake’s predators. Mongooses are often kept as pets in order to rid houses of rats and other pests.
Indian gray mongooses live in Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh, preferring areas of thickets, broken, bushy vegetation and cultivated fields, as well as open areas, scrub and grasslands.
Indian gray mongooses are generally solitary and diurnal, and are especially active during the early mornings and early evenings, searching for reptiles. They move with a quick trot, constantly scanning an area for food. Despite being good climbers, they are rarely seen climbing trees. They sleep in holes during the day, in hollow trees or in the ground, to avoid the midday sun. They are known for their skill in fighting snakes, using special techniques and adaptations. They engage the snake for about an hour in battle, and then the snake tires of striking, whereupon the mongoose leaps at it and attempts its first bite. The cobra usually then loses, as it cannot strike and retract quickly enough to inject venom. These mongooses use scent marking for communication, males spraying only during the breeding season. The spray is potent and can cover a huge distance, like that of skunks.
The Indian gray mongooses are omnivores. They are opportunistic hunters, feeding mainly on rats, mice, lizards, snakes, and beetles. They also eat ground birds and their eggs, as well as fruits, berries, and roots.
Although Indian gray mongooses are widespread, not much is known about their mating habits in the wild. They are solitary except in the mating season, which is March, August and October, and, after mating, the pair separates, the male often mating with other females. This suggests their mating system is polygynous. Births take place in May or June and from October to December, with one female able to produce two or three litters a year. Typically two to four pups are born, after a gestation of about 60 days. Helpless and blind when born, the young develop quickly, and remain with their mother for as long as six months. These animals typically gain maturity when they are 6 to 9 months old.
This species is not thought to be under any major threats, but there may be some localized threats. In some areas it is captured and sold for its skin or as a pet, and all species of mongoose are captured for the wildlife trade. Some tribes eat its meat, and use the hair to make good luck charms and brushes.
Indian gray mongoose is mostly common, often abundant throughout its range, but no overall population estimate is available. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today remain stable.
In their natural environment, due to their diet, Indian gray mongooses are likely to affect populations of the animals they consume. Their ability to kill snakes has been well documented, and they have been introduced in many places for that purpose.