Liberian mongoose

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Liberian mongoose
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Herpestidae
Genus: Liberiictis
Hayman, 1958
Species:
L. kuhni [2]
Binomial name
Liberiictis kuhni [2]
Hayman, 1958
Liberian Mongoose area.png
Range of the Liberian mongoose

The Liberian mongoose (Liberiictis kuhni) is a mongoose species native to Liberia and Ivory Coast. [1] It is the only member of the genus Liberiictis. [3] Phylogenetic analysis shows it is closely related to other small, social mongooses and that the banded mongoose is its closest relative. [4]

It was discovered in Liberia in 1958. Little was known about the animal, except what local natives related. They typically forage in packs consisting of 3-8 individuals, but larger groups have been observed. [5] [6] Their diet consists of earthworms and various insects. The exact distribution is unknown, but may extend from Sierra Leone to Côte d'Ivoire. Confirmed sightings are restricted to forests in Liberia and the Tai National Park in Côte d'Ivoire. Human activity such as mining, agriculture, hunting and logging has displaced the Liberian mongoose from its previous range. [7] A live specimen was exhibited at the Toronto Zoo, but civil war in Liberia has prevented further study. Due to its limited range and the fact that it is heavily hunted, the Liberian mongoose is considered endangered. [1]

The Liberian mongoose has a primarily dark brown body, with a darker stripe on the neck and shoulders. This stripe is bordered by smaller stripes that are white. Compared with other mongoose species, the Liberian mongoose has rather long claws and an elongated snout with small teeth relative to the size of the skull. It has a bushy tapering tail, that is less than half of the length of the head and body. [8] This is likely an adaptation of their specialized diet of earthworms. One of the few specimens ever seen alive was found in a burrow close to a termite nest. The animal's physical characteristics, and its preferred locality to insects, has led experts to suggest that the Liberian mongoose is primarily insectivorous. The few observers that have witnessed this species in the wild have reported that the animal lives primarily in the trunks of trees. Indeed, some of the better-known mongoose species live in tree during the rainy season and occupy burrows only during hotter weather. The collection of juveniles at the end of July and a lactating female at the beginning of August suggests that breeding coincides with the rainy season, when there is an increase in food availability. [9]

This species is extremely rare, and has been listed by the IUCN as endangered. Human destruction of their habitat and human hunting are the primary threats to Liberian mongooses. Owing to their rarity, they were not described until 1958, [10] with the first complete specimens discovered as recently as 1974. An attempt to study them in 1988 yielded only one animal, which had already been killed by a hunter. The specimen that lived at the Toronto Zoo has since died. This rarity also limited what is understood about the Liberian mongoose's interaction with other aspects of the ecosystem. Recent work has shown that they may act as an ecosystem engineer by maintaining the heterogeneity of the forest floor. Through field observations and radio-tracking, a group of mongooses was followed for a period of three months, with a record of their foraging traces being kept. As they forage, they disturb the leaf litter and soil, with an estimate that they may be able to overturn the entire forest floor in a period of 8 months. [11] This altering of the litter environment indirectly affects seed predation and germination. The Liberian mongoose is also host to a species of Mallophaga (chewing louse) known as Felicola liberiae. [12] Political unrest in the areas in which they live has made further studies difficult in recent years. [1]

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Viverridae family of mammals, the viverrids

Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids, comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Viverrids occur all over Africa, into southern Europe, in South and Southeast Asia across the Wallace Line. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.

Common kusimanse species of mammal

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<i>Crossarchus</i> genus of mammals

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Crested servaline genet species of mammal

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Servaline genet species of mammal

The servaline genet is a genet species native to Central Africa. As it is widely distributed and considered common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Aquatic genet species of mammal

The aquatic genet is a genet that has only been recorded in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since it is only known from about 30 specimens in zoological collections, it had been listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List since 1996, as it is considered one of Africa's rarest carnivores. In 2015, it has been reassessed as Near Threatened.

Eupleridae family of carnivorans

Eupleridae is a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known living species in seven genera, commonly known as euplerids, Malagasy mongooses or Malagasy carnivorans. The best known species is the fossa, in the subfamily Euplerinae. All species of Euplerinae were formerly classified as viverrids, while all species in the subfamily Galidiinae were classified as herpestids.

Ring-tailed vontsira species of mammal

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Galidiinae subfamily of carnivorans

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Johnstons genet species of mammal

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Black-footed mongoose species of mammal

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Javan mongoose Species of mammal

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Wildlife of Liberia

The wildlife of Liberia consists of the flora and fauna of the Republic of Liberia. This West African nation has a long Atlantic coastline and a range of habitat types, with a corresponding diversity of plants and animals. Liberia is considered a biodiversity hotspot and has more intact forests characteristic of the Upper Guinea Massif than do neighbouring countries. There are 2000 species of vascular plants, approximately 140 species of mammals, and over 600 species of birds.

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King genet species of mammal

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Taylor, M.E.; Greengrass, E.J.; Dunham, A. & Do Linh San, E. (2016). "Liberiictis kuhni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2016: e.T11933A45198780.
  2. 1 2 Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Species Liberiictis kuhni". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  3. Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Genus Liberiictis". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  4. Veron, G.; Colyn, M.; Dunham, A. E.; Taylor, P.; Gaubert, P. (2004). "Molecular systematics and origin of sociality in mongooses (Herpestidae, Carnivora)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 30: 582–598. doi:10.1016/s1055-7903(03)00229-x. PMID   15012940.
  5. Veron, Geraldine; Colyn, Marc; Dunham, Amy E.; Taylor, Peter; Gaubert, Philippe (2004). "Molecular systematics and origin of sociality in mongooses (Herpestidae, Carnivora)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 30: 582–598. doi:10.1016/s1055-7903(03)00229-x. PMID   15012940.
  6. Grzimek, B.; Schlager, N.; Olendorf, M.; McDade, C. (2004). Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia (2nd ed.). New York: Thomson Gale. pp. 347–358.
  7. Colyn, Marc; Barriere, Patrick; Formenty, Pierre; Perpete, Olivier; Van Rompaey, Harry (1998). "First confirmation of the presence of the Liberian mongoose, Liberiictis kuhni, in Cote d'Ivoire". Small Carnivore Conservation. 18: 12–14.
  8. Goldman, Corey A.; Taylor, Mark E. (1990). "Liberiictis kuhni". Mammalian Species. 348: 1–3. doi:10.2307/3504105.
  9. Goldman, Corey A.; Taylor, Mark E. (1990). "Liberiictis kuhni". Mammalian Species. 348: 1–3. doi:10.2307/3504105.
  10. Hayman, Robert W. (1958). "A new genus and species of West African mongoose". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 13 (1): 448–452.
  11. Dunham, Amy E. (2011). "Soil disturbance by vertebrates alters seed predation, movement and germination in an African rain forest". Journal of Tropical Ecology. 27: 581–589. doi:10.1017/s0266467411000344.
  12. Emerson, K.C.; Price, Roger D. (1972). "A new species of Felicola (Mallophaga: Trichodectidae) from the Liberian mongoose (Liberiictis kuhni)". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 85 (33): 399–404.