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Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

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Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

Unread post by MarkWildDog » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:45 pm

Selous' Mongoose
Paracynictis Selousi

An extremely elusive mongoose, only active at night and only falling prey to large owls. This species is carnivorous mainly feeding on invertebrates such as termites, beetles and grasshoppers. However they also take rodents and small reptiles, bird eggs and very rarely birds. These mongoose do not rely on water and occur in habitats which include open scrubland favouring mopane. Only a handful of sightings have been recorded in the Shingwedzi area. Forget Duke and roan antelope this is the sighting of all sightings! These mongoose can easily be confused with the more common whitetailed mongoose but only a small section of this mongoose's tail is white. The are generally a grey tawny colour, with a redish tint in the flank, thigh and chest areas. Where feet are a darkish black or brown colour. The ears are easily noticeable being wide apart and distinctly rounded, the bushy tail and pointed muzzle are other features. They walk in a sort of shady style keep everything held low and straight. One of the reasons why it probably isnt ever seen is because of its brilliant sense abilites. There is barely any info or pictures on this creature. They are said to breed in summer, having about one to four cubs. Not only are they elusive but they are also solitary! Much like a needle in a haystack. :roll: Selous' mostly egg their own burrows in soft sand but also takeover abandoned burrows, mostly those of porcupine. The burrows oats under dense bush or at termite hill bases, burrows tend to have two entrances. Like most carnivores, home ranges are indicated with urine and dung middens. Their mass ranges between 1,3 and 2,2 kg and life span around 11 or 12 years.

I dont know about everyone else, but this really fascinates me! A ghost species?

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Re: Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

Unread post by Jock » Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:02 am

Now I have another rare animal to add to my must see list. This list is growing, I will have to retire soon to give me time to see all these animals, it is going to take me 40 years.
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Re: Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

Unread post by Richprins » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:01 pm

According to Pienaar et al, the existence of the animal was confirmed from a roadkill outside Shingwedzi in Nov 1986, so there is no doubt!

It is far smaller than the giant "white tailed", and has a less bushy tail and less black on the legs.

Wonder how many "Selous' " have been mistakenly identified as "White-tailed"! :shock:

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Re: Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:36 am

Pondering the same thing, RP. I've only seen White-Tailed once before, maybe it was a Selous. :twisted:
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Re: Mongoose: Selous' Mongoose

Unread post by simons » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:17 am


I used to guide up at Pafuri Camp in northern Kruger. I photographed this Selous' Mongoose there last year. When I took this picture it was in fact the first live record for the park. I am not sure of the status now. Subsequent to this, we have had one or two further sightings at Pafuri.

Hope this sheds some light on this enigmatic creature.
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