Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2022



Collared Mongoose

Family : Herpestidae
Species : Herpestes semitorquatus

Head-body length : up to 43 cm
Tail length : up to 28 cm
Weight : up to 1.5 kg

The Collared Mongoose is a broadly forest-dependant species which occurs in lowlands and lower montane habitats up to 1400 metres elevation. It can survive in degraded forest, and occasionally peat swamp forest, but appears to be scarce in agricultural areas.

This species occurs on the islands of Borneo (Sarawak, Sabah and Kalimantan) and Sumatra (known from a few localities, where it is possibly introduced), but is absent from the mainland of Southeast Asia.

Mongooses which occur on the islands of Palawan province, in the south of the Philippines (which includes the main island of Palawan and the Calamian Islands), are recognised by some researchers as being a form of Collared Mongoose, rather than the Short-tailed Mongoose which they were previously considered to be.

This is a terrestrial, mainly diurnal carnivore which preys on small vertebrates and invertebrates. It is mainly solitary in habits, however it is not uncommon for pairs (presumably male-female pairs) to be recorded on trail cameras.

On Borneo, two colour forms are recognised - a brown morph and a less common reddish morph. On Sumatra the reddish form is seen, but the occurrence of the brown morph is unclear. In all forms the fur on the throat is more pale than on the rest of the body, and there is a distinctive pale stripe below the ear. The fur on the legs is noticeably darker.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), categorise the species as 'Near Threatened', mainly due to the loss of lowland forest.

Figs 1 and 2 : Brown morph from lowland, logged forest in Kalabakan Forest Reserve, Sabah, Borneo at an elevation of 380 metres.  Photos thanks to Oliver Wearn.

References : M12


Fig 1
ゥ  Oliver Wearn

Fig 2
ゥ  Oliver Wearn