Animal Info - Liberian Mongoose

Liberiictis kuhni

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Liberian Mongoose #1 (29 Kb JPEG); Liberian Mongoose #2 (49 Kb JPEG) (IUCN Small Carn. Spec. Gr.) 

The Liberian mongoose weighs about 2.3 kg (5 lb). It is believed to be restricted to low-lying areas and stream banks in overgrown, old secondary forest and in deciduous rainforest growing on deep sandy soil (Schreiber et al. 1989; Kingdon 1997). The Liberian mongoose eats earthworms and beetle larvae found in streambeds, low-lying areas and dead palm trunks. People living in areas where it has been found state that it is diurnal and terrestrial. Others say that it is a good climber and is frequently found in tree holes. Native people say that it lives in groups of 3 - 5 individuals (one troop of 15 has been recorded).

In 1990 it was thought to occur in a small area of northeastern Liberia, and possibly also in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It was relatively well known in villages in several counties in Liberia, but generally reported to be rare and declining. It is currently known only from the upper reaches of the Cess River valley in Liberia and from Tai National Park in Cote d'Ivoire (Kingdon 1997), and in Guinea (IUCN 2000).

The Liberian mongoose is heavily hunted for food by people living in the same area. It is easily approached and captured when digging for worms. It is also affected by deforestation for agriculture, logging and mining.


Tidbits

*** The first dead specimens of the Liberian mongoose were obtained by scientists from local hunters in 1974. The first live animal was caught by scientists in 1989. In Cote d'Ivoire, the first carcass was obtained by scientists in 1997.

*** The Liberian mongoose has long claws and a long snout with small teeth, suggesting that it is mainly insectivorous.

*** The Liberian mongoose may be outcompeted by the related cusimanse (Crossarchus obscurus) outside its optimum habitat.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Liberian Mongoose Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia. (IUCN 2004)

History of Distribution:

In 1990 it was thought to occur in a small area of northeastern Liberia, and possibly also in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It was relatively well known in villages in several counties in Liberia, but generally reported to be rare and declining. It is currently known only from the upper reaches of the Cess River valley in Liberia and the Tai National Park in Cote d'Ivoire (Kingdon 1997), and in Guinea (IUCN 2003a).

Distribution Map (8 Kb GIF) (African Mammals Databank 2004)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Liberian mongoose is heavily hunted for food by people living in the same area. It is easily approached and captured when digging for worms. It is also affected by deforestation for agriculture, logging and mining.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

The Liberian mongoose weighs 2 - 2.3 kg (4.4 - 5 lb).

Habitat:

The Liberian mongoose is believed to be restricted to low-lying areas and stream banks in overgrown, old secondary forest and in deciduous rainforest growing on deep sandy soil, where it digs for earthworms and beetle larvae (Schreiber et al. 1989; Kingdon 1997).

The Liberian mongoose occurs in both the Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005) and in the Guinean Moist Forests Global 200 Ecoregion. (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999)

Diet:

The Liberian mongoose eats earthworms and beetle larvae found in streambeds, low-lying areas and dead palm trunks.

Behavior:

People living in the area where it has been found state that it is diurnal and terrestrial. Others say that it is a good climber and is frequently found in tree holes.

Social Organization:

Native people say that it lives in groups of 3 - 5 individuals (one troop of 15 has been recorded).


References

African Mammals Databank 2004, Burton & Pearson 1987, Colyn et al. 1998, Cons. Intl. 2005, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, IUCN Small Carn. Spec. Gr., Kingdon 1997, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, Schreiber, A. et al. 1989, Stuart & Stuart 1996, Taylor 1992


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Last modified: June 4, 2005;

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