Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Indian Mongoose

The Indian Mongoose was introduced to the Hawaiian islands to eradicate the rats that came with the ships. The rats were destroying the sugar cane. Problem is, rats are nocturnal, mongooses are diurnal. They gnosh on native birds, lizards, and the like.
Mongooses (not mongeese) are related to to meerkats. They can learn tricks and make fair pets, but like civets have an unpleasant scent gland.
The flora and fauna on pacific islands lack predation so the mongooses thrive.


Lee said...

So the mongoose had little or no impact on the rat population?

Have the species adapted to its introduction?

flyingvan said...

Some. They have kept the 5 invasive rodent species in check but also devastated native birds and reptile populations. Also they have impacted the feral cat population, which also has a significant impact on the flora/fauna. Things WILL strike a balance, with native species lost in the process. That, however, is how it works with or without human influence. Not implying you don't have to be responsible though

Tina said...

So, all they need to do is release cobras all over Hawaii. Then things will sort themselves out :)

At least, that's how it happened in Riki-Tiki-Tavi's story.