18 September 2011

Magaliesberg Mongeese

Slender Mongoose (Swartkwasmuishond - Galerella sanguinea) in the Magaliesberg

The Slender Mongoose has always been, in my opinion, a rather handsome animal. Their colour varies from gray to reddish-brown, but the ones in the Magaliesberg seem to have an interesting mix of both.

Youngster checking things out

I'm pretty sure that I photographed two individuals, but it could be more. My guess would be mother and child. I've managed to photograph two individuals together on a previous occasion as well.

Although these mongooses are mostly solitary hunters they exhibit a surprising amount of sociality. Males sometimes form a type of "coalition" to defend their territory. The youngsters can stay in the females' territories for up to two years before dispersing.

Checking out the camera

Another interesting feature of these mongooses are that they like to lift the black tip of their tall of the ground.

Wearing that tail with pride

The weather was great but veld was still waiting for the first rain to arrive. Almost like the calm before the storm. Every plant and animal just waiting to switch gears into spring then summer.

Some Magaliesberg scenery

After my unsuccessful camera trapping the night before I decided to lay out a banquet in the hopes of attracting the local diurnal mammals. With the end of the winter and dry season at hand it didn't take to long for the first animals to show up.

Helping itself to some breakfast that doesn't try to run away

Interestingly enough the bread proved the most popular with almost all species (mammals and birds) taking a bite. But the mongooses also enjoyed the meat scraps. The sunflower seeds and fruit were enjoyed by the other visitors, but more about them later.

It's best to carry a mouthful of to a safe location and enjoy it in peace

The Slender Mongoose hunts mostly insects and small animals (reptiles, mammals, etc.), but they don't seem to turn up their noses at bread or an empty fish cans.

Mmm, I smell something fishy...

Most of these image where taken right next to the house. The animals didn't seem to be too alarmed by our presence as long as we remained out of sight.

The Bushnell hard at work

The Slender Mongoose is a very common species found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with apparently up to 50 subspecies. To wrap things up here is one of these fellows munching on some bread, in style.

Keep it steady with your paw and then dig in

1 comment:

  1. Well captured Henry. That's a great looking mongoose species.