The Small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata) are diurnal carnivores that prey on native biodiversity. The invasive mongoose has been the cause of many declines in native mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The Small Indian mongoose was first introduced in the Caribbean region to control rat and snake populations as a biological control agent in cane fields. However, it became too effective at its purpose and began targeting native species.
This invasive species has been found to prey on the equally vulnerable turtle nestling (Hawksbill Sea turtle), which is critically endangered. In the absence of predatory mammals, native species are threatened by mongoose predation. The small Indian mongoose can thrive in a large range of habitats inclusive of coastal areas, natural forests, grassland, wetlands, and agricultural land. It is a known carrier of rabies which can be fatal to humans, as it can kill humans.
Presently, this invasive species has been successfully eradicated from two islands (Codrington and Green Island) off Antigua. In St. Lucia, the use of two experimental removal traps was conducted using chicken bait at an iguana nesting site in an effort to remove this species.
Trapping is commonly used to remove the small Indian mongoose from sensitive areas. Trapping programmes need to be consistent as mongooses re-colonize trapped areas very quickly. Presently, more eradication methods are needed to prevent further introductions in the Caribbean region. Eradication methods are currently being developed to reduce mongoose populations.
Read more from our sources below!
IUCN GISD – Urva auropunctata
CABI – Urva auropunctata (Small Indian mongoose)
University of the West Indies – Urva auropunctatus (Small Indian mongoose)
Caribbean Invasives – How has the introduction of the small Indian mongoose impacted Caribbean islands?
Caribbean Invasives -Barbados – Mongoose Predation Video!