Mongoose question

Hi all,

I just had a question about whether anyone would know if the Meller’s Mongoose or Bushy-tailed Mongoose is the more likely at Ngorongoro Crater.  I had what I thought was a Meller’s on a road on the side of the crater through thick brush with trees the last time I was there, but after getting Kingdon’s new guide It looks like it may have been a Bushy-tailed since it looks like Meller’s doesn’t occur there.  Plus the habitat seems to be a better match to Bushy-tailed.  Any thoughts?





  • Venkat Sankar

    Meller’s doesn’t occur that far N in Tanzania; I think the Northermost record is in one of the miombo hunting blocks SW of Tarangire. If your mongoose was on the forested rim, Bushy-tailed sounds good to me. They weren’t known from the area for a while but a recent camera-trapping study got a bunch of records up there and from several other “new” places (e.g. Arusha NP, etc.). Their prior perceived absence was definitely a result of poor survey coverage.

    On a similar note, I saw a medium-sized dark mongoose dash off the road in Ngorongoro Crater in a brushy area near water in 2013. I strongly suspect it was a Marsh Mongoose. I had two guides with me who had spent years in and near the crater and were adamant it was not a melanistic Slender Mongoose (which are reported often there). Didn’t look like it to me either. They picked out Marsh Mongoose from the field guide without prompting. Interestingly, that was a really good trip for Mongooses. I also saw a adult+baby Egyptian Mongoose (which dodged a Martial Eagle attack!) in Ndutu and Bushy-tailed Mongoose at Lake Manyara NP.

  • Charles Foley

    As Venkat mentioned, Meller’s mongoose doesn’t occur in that part of the country – its a Miombo specialist. That said, Bushy tailed mongooses are not at all common in Ngorongoro, and the species is almost strictly nocturnal. What time did you see it? If at night it might have been this species, otherwise I’d guess it was a Marsh mongoose.

    • Conuropsis

      Thanks Charles. I’ve decided it’s not a Meller’s from what you two say, but it wasn’t anywhere near water so didn’t think it was a Marsh. I suppose maybe they sometimes travel away from wet areas. The guides say they are always found around wetlands. Plus it looked to bushy-tailed to be one. We saw it during the day though I don’t remember exactly when. It was on a road down the side of the crater in thick brush with scattered trees. I guess it may have to go down as a miss.


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