Physical: Trapping is commonly used to remove small Indian mongooses from sensitive areas. It is often very successful at removing animals in the short term. Unfortunately, trapping programmes need to be run almost constantly as mongooses re-colonise trapped areas very quickly (Roy et al. 2003; Hays and Conant, 2007). Fencing has been proposed as a possible control method in Mauritius but predator proof fences are expensive and inflexible should the area that needs to be protected change (Roy et al. 2002).
Chemical: Diphacinone anticoagulant poison has been used to control mongooses in Hawai’I (Hays et al. 2007). The use of this toxin has been considered in Mauritius but poisoning methods would have to be adapted to prevent poisoning of non-target species (Roy et al. 2002).
Integrated management: There is concern in Mauritius that removing mongooses without also removing cats and rats will be disastrous for native species because it may lead to increased rat and cat populations (Roy et al. 2002).
Location Specific Management Information
Amami Is. (Amami Oshima Islands)
The local government began to trap the mongoose in order to reduce crop damage
in farmlands around the city from 1993 and the Yamato Village Office also began trapping from 1995. As many as 1100-1500 mongooses were captured by 15-20 trappers
using 10-30 traps per person for seven to nine months
(May-March) in a year. Approximately 60-80%
of those mongooses were captured by four to five skilful
Agency of the Central Government carried out preliminary
investigations during 1996-1999 into the possibility
of eradicating mongooses from the whole island. Following on from the pilot investigations, the Environment Agency decided to begin a full-scale project to eradicate
the mongoose from the whole island from 2000 by
two methods: (1) great reduction of population using many
traps during a short period (3 years) over the whole island
(the annual target reduction was 4000-5000, including the
number by pest control around farmland by the local governments
during May to March, and by trapping in mountainous
areas by the Environment Agency during October
to March), and (2) long-term eradication until the species
A total of 3886 mongooses were captured by trapping, but
the number was lower (87%) than the target number (4500)
in the first year (fiscal 2000). The catch comprised 1073
animals by pest control and 2813 by the eradication project
of the Environment Agency.
Fajou Is. (Reserve Naturelle du Grand Cul-de-sac Marin)
In March 2001, an attempt was made to eradicate the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus), the ship rat (Rattus rattus) and the house mouse (Mus musculus) from Fajou island in Guadeloupe. A follow up in December 2001 and January 2002 showed that the ship rat eradication had failed. There was a second attempt at eradicating the ship rats in March 2002, but it seems that it also failed. However it confirmed the success of the mongoose operation using traps alone. The success of the March 2001 house mouse operation using trapping and poisoning (Bromadiolone concentration 50 ppm, hand broadcast ) could not be properly evaluated (Lorvelec, O., et al. 2004).
Live traps are also used to capture mongooses and avoid loss of non-target species in Haleakala National Park, Hawaii.
Small Indian mongooses are currently controlled using simple box traps, which has achieved some success despite being labour intensive. In the National Park in south-west Mauritius, trapping is carried out in four main areas where the pink pigeon (Columba mayeri) is present. Brise Fer has had 24 traps since 1988, Pigeon Wood has had 23 traps since 1991, Bel Ombre had had 22 traps since 1994, and Combo has had an unknown number of traps since 1999. Non-target species are sometimes caught, especially the tenrec (Tenrec eucaudatus). Future recommendations for mongoose management include a minimum trap density of one trap every 0.25 km², and placing more than one trap at each site to reduce the effects of catching non-target species. Control is best focussed on mongooses in degraded forest, as this appears to be where they reach their highest densities. Control of mongooses should be integrated with control of other invasive vertebrates such as rats and cats, as controlling mongooses alone may release rats from predation pressure and cats from competition for prey. Other potential techniques could be the use of poison, as has been successfully done in Hawaii, and habitat management, by removing denser ground vegetation and removing potential den sites. Any poisoning campaign would need to exploit behaviours unique to mongooses in order to reduce non-target impacts.
St. John Is.
Coblentz and Coblentz (1985) trapped mongooses using 15 x 15 x 45 cm live traps and fresh bait. They concluded that, where eradication of mongooses is not possible, protection of vulnerable insular species can be achieved with intensive localised trapping
Herpestes auropunctatus is commonly known as the small Indian mongoose; Indian mongoose; Javan mongoose.
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