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The Small Asian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus)


There are two species of Mongoose in Hong Kong, and this is the prettiest. They can inhabit as wide range of areas, but it prefers wetlands and open plains. They live in holes and burrows, and come out mainly during the day time (diurnal).

The Small Asian Mongoose mainly eats insects but they also feed on crabs, frogs, spiders, scorpions, birds and eggs...and of course snakes, even the venomous Chinese cobra.

Although there has been one sighting on HK Island, if you want to see this lovely animal, then you need to go to the Northern areas, along the border with China, or TaiMoShan, TaiLam, or Plover Cove.

But probably your best chance for a sighting is at MaiPo marshes, where Dr. Martin Williams took these pictures.

The Small Asian Mongoose were not seen in Hong Kong for a long time, although Hong Kong is within, or close to their natural ranges. It is thought that they have either moved into Hong Kong by expanding from nearby areas of their natural range or it is also possible that they existed in Hong Kong in the past and have now re-colonized Hong Kong after the reforestation of our Country Parks.

They have been introduced to several Pacific islands, Caribbean islands, South America, Japan and Europe to help control the rodent and snake populations.


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