In the gorge with Kloof Conservancy — the Slender Mongoose

2018-03-13 06:00
The Slender Mongoose.PHOTO: Supplied

The Slender Mongoose.PHOTO: Supplied

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THE Slender Mongoose (Galerella sanguinea ) is one of the mammal species that visitors are most likely to see in the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve because they move about during the day.

Areas where they can often be seen include grasslands, and in particular near the Lingwood Trig Beacon, the Ntombeni grasslands or Nkutu grasslands. They have also been spotted in the grasslands deep in the gorge on the Molweni River.

Krantzkloof boasts five species of mongoose. The most common after the Slender Mongoose are the Water Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus), followed by the Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo), the Large Grey Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) and the White-tailed Mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda). A number of melanistic (with black tails) White Tailed Mongoose have also been recorded.

The Slender Mongoose and Water Mongoose also frequent gardens in Kloof and they have been spotted at Memorial Park — look for the spoor in the muddy sections of the streams.

As the name suggests, the body of the Slender Mongoose is long and slender, they have short legs and the males tend to be larger than the females.

The colour of their fur varies greatly between the different subspecies, from dark reddish/brown to an orange/brown, yellow and grey, and they often appear speckled. They have a prominent black tip at the end of their tail which gives rise to an alternative common name: Black-tipped Mongoose. They are diurnal but will hunt on moonlit nights.

They are common throughout most of KZN, excluding the drier northern KZN area. They are also common in most of sub-Saharan Africa but are not found in the Eastern and Western Cape regions. Their den is in a sheltered area, such as a hollow log or a crevice between rocks, and they may share their den with other species.

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