Saturday, October 11, 2008

Striped Necked Mongoose documented in Virdi Village.
Two individuals of Stripe- Necked mongooses ( Herpestes vittcollis) were sighted and photo documented in the moist deciduous forests of Virdi village of Dodamarg taluka in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. This area is contiguous to the Mahdei Wildlife Sanctuary of Goa and the Proposed Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka.
The Stripe necked mongoose is a stocky mammal and is considered one of the largest mongooses in Asia. While specimens from South India are a darker rufous color, while those sighted in the Virdi forests were yellowish grey in color. The field identification for this large mongoose is the tail- which is three fourths of the body length and has a black tip which is pointed upwards. The prominent brownish black stripe running from the ear to the shoulder gives it the name the Stripe Necked Mongoose.
It feeds on small mammals and young ones of other creatures including birds and crabs, etc and is a shy elusive creature.
The individuals were seen foraging for smaller life forms in a clearing in the forests and one individual was photographed in the process by me.
The species has earlier been recorded from the Mahdei Wildlife sanctuary and the Cotigao Wildlife sanctuaries of Goa and the forests around the Bhimgad fort by various researchers.

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