Indian grey mongoose

The Indian grey mongoose or common grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi) is a mongoose species mainly found in West Asia and on the Indian subcontinent.[1] In North Indian languages (Hindi/Punjabi) it is called Nevlaa. The grey mongoose is commonly found in open forests, scrublands and cultivated fields, often close to human habitation. It lives in burrows, hedgerows and thickets, among groves of trees, and takes shelter under rocks or bushes and even in drains. It is very bold and inquisitive but wary, seldom venturing far from cover. It climbs very well. Usually found singly or in pairs. It preys on rodents, snakes, birds’ eggs and hatchlings, lizards and variety of invertebrates. Along the Chambal River it occasionally feeds on gharial eggs. It breeds throughout the year.

Indian grey mongoose
Herpestes edwardsii at Hyderaba
Adult in the wild (Hyderabad, India)
Scientific classification
H. edwardsi
Binomial name
Herpestes edwardsi
Indian Gray Mongoose area
Indian grey mongoose range


The Indian grey mongoose has tawny grey or iron grey fur, which is more grizzled and stiffer and coarser than that of other mongooses. The ruddiness of the coat varies in different subspecies, but it is described as appearing more grey than other mongooses. The grizzled appearance comes from the individual hairs being ringed by creamy-white and black. The legs are brown and darker than the body. The hair around the muzzle and eyes is also brown but with a stronger rusty red colouring. The tail is bushy, whilst the tip of the tail, if coloured, is pale yellow or white.[2][3][4]

Their tail length equals their body length. Body length: 36–45 cm (14-17 inches) Tail length: 45 cm (17 inches), weight: 0.9-1.7 kg (2-4 lb). Males are significantly larger than the females. Indian grey mongooses are unusual in that they can discriminate four colours, more than most other mammals.[5]

Distribution and habitat

It has been generally accepted that the Indian grey mongoose occurs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, as represented by the distribution map.[1][6][7] A 2007 study found specimens also in Turkey, and United Arab Emirates, thus extending the known range.[8]

Despite being a common animal, the natural history of the Indian grey mongoose is not well known.[1] They appear to be able to occupy a wide variety of habitats but preferring open types. These include grasslands, open areas, rocky patches, scrub, semi-desert, cultivated fields and other disturbed areas, areas of thickets, bushy vegetation, dry secondary forest, thorn forest, forest edges, and also near human settlement.[3][4][9] Although the creature has been described as being less dependent on human settlements, observations in India in heavily forested areas show it to be much more common around human settlements often scavenging on waste.[10]


  • H. e. edwardsi
  • H. e. ferrugineus
  • H. e. lanka
  • H. e. montanus
  • H. e. nyula

Ecology and behaviour

The Indian grey mongoose is omnivorous, though most of its diet is made up from live prey it catches from being an opportunistic hunter, with mice, rats, lizards, snakes, and beetles making up the bulk. Also eaten are ground birds, their eggs, grasshoppers, scorpions, centipedes, frogs, crabs, fish, and parts of plants: fruits, berries, and roots, as well as larger prey including hares and egrets.[11] It kills prey by delivering a bite to the neck or head.

The illustration of Indian grey mongoose and cobra

This species is known for its ability to combat venomous snakes. It primarily achieves this through tiring the snake out, by enticing it to make multiple strikes which it acrobatically avoids.[2][11] Secondary protection against the venomous bite includes the stiff rigid hair, which is excited at such times, the thick loose skin and specialised acetylcholine receptors render it resistant or immune to snake venom.[12] When dealing with scorpions, no measures are taken to disable the sting, and they are picked up in any manner.[13]

The Indian grey mongoose typically opens eggs by holding them between the paws and biting a hole in the little end.[13] Smaller mongooses typically open eggs by throwing them between their legs against a hard object, so it has been speculated,[13] that the adult Indian grey mongoose should do likewise with large eggs.

Indian Mongoose pups
Inquisitive Indian grey mongoose pups at Lucknow Zoological Park.

The Indian grey mongoose mates between March and October, it breeding two to three times each year. The gestation period lasts for 60 to 65 days, the female gives birth to two to four offsprings.[11]

The lifespan of the Indian grey mongoose is seven years in the wild, or 12 years, when in captivity.[11]

Relation with humans

The Indian grey mongoose often is kept as a pet to keep dwellings free from rats and other pests.[14]

The Indian grey mongoose is the state animal of Chandigarh.[15]

The species is protected in India, but an illegal trade in hair for the purposes of making of paint brushes and shaving brushes continues, and this is one of its most significant threats.[1][16] About 3000 mongoose were killed to produce 155 kg. of raw mongoose hair, which were seized by Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in 2018.[17]

Indian Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii)- is it- at Hyderabad, AP W 106

Grey mongoose photographed in Hyderabad, India.

Herpestes edwardsii. 2

Indian grey mongoose photographed at Nagerhole, Karnataka


  1. ^ a b c d e Mudappa, D. & .; Choudhury, A. (2016). "Herpestes edwardsii". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T41611A45206787. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41611A45206787.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Sterndale, Robert A. (1884). "No. 236 Herpestes Pallidus vel Griseus The Common Grey Mungoose". Natural history of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink.
  3. ^ a b Hussain, Riaz; Mahmood, Tariq (20 October 2016). "Comparative Ecology of Two Sympatric Mongoose Species (Herpestes javanicus and H. edwardsii) in Pothwar Plateau, Pakistan" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of Zoology. 48 (6): 1931–1943. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Menon, Vivek (2014). Indian Mammals: A Field Guide. Gurgaon: Hatchet Book Publishing India. ISBN 978-93-5009-761-8.
  5. ^ Ewer, R. F. (1973). The carnivores. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. pp. 124–125. ISBN 0297995642.
  6. ^ Hinton, H. E.; Dunn, A. M. S. (1967). Mongooses. Their Natural History and Behaviour. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 117.
  7. ^ Sharma, Gaurav; Kamalakannan, M.; Venkataraman, K. (1 July 2015). A checklist of mammals of India with their distribution and conservation status (PDF). Kolkata: Govt. of India.
  8. ^ Veron, G., Patou, M.-L., Pothet, G., Simberloff, D. and Jennings, A.P. (2007). Systematic status and biogeography of the Javan and Small Indian Mongooses (Herpestidae, Carnivora). Zoologica Scripta 36: 1–10.
  9. ^ Duff, Andrew; Lawson, Ann (2004). Mammals of the World: A Checklist. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 117. ISBN 0-300-10398-0.
  10. ^ Shekhar, K. S. (October 2003). "The status of mongooses in central India". Small Carnivore Conservation. 29: 22–24. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d Graham, E. (2004). "Herpestes edwardsi Indian grey mongoose". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  12. ^ "How the Mongoose Defeats the Snake". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  13. ^ a b c Ewer, R. F. (1973). The carnivores. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. pp. 198–200. ISBN 0297995642.
  14. ^ Lal, Ranjit (20 September 2015). "Mongooses are fierce hunters as well as great pets". The Indian Express. New Delhi. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  15. ^ "State Animal, Bird, Tree and Flower of Chandigarh" (PDF). Department of Forests & Wildlife. Chandigarh Administration. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Mongoose hair brushes worth over Rs 35 lakh seized". The Times of India. Kolkata. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Preying on mongoose: Every year, 50,000 animals are killed for making brushes | india news | Hindustan Times". 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
Aravali Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon

Aravali Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon, (or Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon) spreads over 153.7 hectares, near the Guru Dronacharya metro station in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. The park, contains ecologically restored and semi arid land vegetation. The park was opened to the public on World Environment Day, 5 June 2010. The park includes a number of trails and a native plant nursery and interpretive displays at the entrance.

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles (I)

This page lists Sri Lanka-related articles with titles beginning with an alphabet letter I.

I Can Love Too

I Proud to Be an Indian

I Witnessed Genocide: Inside Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

I. A. C. Pillai

I. A. Cader

I. C. Chacko

I. F. B. Wickramanayake

I. F. Wilson

I. Ganesan

I. J. Wickrema

I. Janagiraman

I. K. K. Menon

I. Kudigame

I. M. R. A. Iriyagolla

I. N. Murthy

I. Panduranga Rao

I. Periyasamy

I. Shanmughadas

I. V. Chalapati Rao

I.P.Senthil Kumar

ICBT Campus



IPSC Sri Lanka

ISKCON Temple Patna

ISO 3166-2:LK

ITN channel

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Ian Daniel

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Ibbagala Raja Maha Vihara

Ibbagamuwa Divisional Secretariat

Ibbani Karagithu

Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs

Ibbara Naduve Muddina Aata


Ibn Taimiya School and College

Ibrahim Saeed

Ice Cream (2015 film)

Icelandic Airlines Flight 001

Ichari Dam

Ichthyophis glutinosus

Ichthyophis pseudangularis

Ida Carmelitta








Ide Mahasudina

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Idiots (film)




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Idukki Gold (film)

Iftekhar Sajjad

Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury

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Ignatius Anandappa


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Ilex walkeri



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Illicium verum

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Illuktenna (7°10'N 80°55'E)

Illuktenna (7°22'N 80°55'E)




Ilukpelessa (7°1'N 80°54'E)

Ilukpelessa (7°27'N 80°54'E)

Ilukpelessa (7°7'N 80°49'E)




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Imagine Cup Sri Lanka

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Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2008–09

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Industry in ancient Tamil country


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Iyengar Tamil

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Iṉiyavai Nāṟpatu

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Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary

The Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is a 4.537-square-kilometre (1.752 sq mi) protected area located in the Ariyalur District of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sanctuary is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Thanjavur. This freshwater lake is fed by Pullambadi, Kattalal canal and attracts thousands of birds every year. This lake was declared as a sanctuary in 1999 by the Government of Tamil Nadu. About 200 birds are species recorded from this sanctuary. Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA’s) of Tamil Nadu (Code No. IN268, Criteria: A1, A4i, A4iii).Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is home to migratory birds such as Bar-headed goose, Northern pintail, White Stork, Northern shoveler, Garganey, Blue-winged teal, Osprey and common sandpiper The sanctuary is a large irrigation tank located in the northern alluvial plains of the Kaveri river. It is fed during the northeast monsoons by the Pullambadi canal. It is also referred to together with another nearby tank and called Vettakudi-Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary. Farm lands especially paddy, sugarcane, cotton, castor and maize are surrounded by this lake and irrigated from this lake. Acacia nilotica planted inside the lake is serving as a major nesting site for birds.During winter, the total number of birds recorded is between 20,000 to 60,000, mostly Anatidae. Globally threatened species such as Greater Spotted Eagle, Oriental Darter, Black-headed ibis and Spot-billed Pelican were reported in this site

Karaivetti is one of the important active heronries in Tamil Nadu. Spot-billed Pelican, Black-headed ibis, Painted Stork, Oriental Darter, Eurasian Spoonbill are some of the birds species breeding in this sanctuaryOther fauna inhabit this region are Golden Jackal, Black-naped hare, Indian grey mongoose and nearly 15 species of fish were reported

Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary attracts birdwatchers mainly during the winter season. Interpretation centre explaining the importance of the wetland and waterfowl of this sanctuary was established and opened for public in 2015.

Kuno National Park

Kuno National Park is a protected area in Madhya Pradesh that received the status of national park in 2018. The protected area was established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary with an area of 344.686 km2 (133.084 sq mi) in the Sheopur and Morena districts. It was also known as Kuno-Palpur and Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.

Lake Milh

Lake Milh (Arabic: بحيرة ملح‎, literally Sea of Salt, pronounced Bahr al-Milh), also known as Razzaza Lake, is located a few miles west of Karbala, Iraq (32°41′N 43°40′E). It is alternately called Lake Razazah (Arabic: بحيرة الرزازة‎). Lake Milh is a depression into which excess water from Lake Habbaniyah, which comes from the Euphrates River, is diverted through a controlled escape channel or canal. The lake is listed as a wetland of international importance. The lake is rather shallow and water levels change with the seasons. Due to the salts and the changing water levels, this largest freshwater lake in Iraq has lost its important stock of fish species and only a few recreational areas exist around the lake.

List of The Jungle Book characters

This is a list of characters that appear in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book story collection, its sequel The Second Jungle Book, and the various film adaptations based on those books. Characters include both human and talking animal characters.

List of mammals of Kerala

This is a list of mammal species found in the Kerala, India.

List of placental mammals introduced to Australia

A variety of placental mammals have been introduced to Australia since the arrival of Captain Cook in 1770. They have ranged in size from rodents to deer. One other species, the Dingo, was introduced much earlier, but is nevertheless included in this list.This is a sub-list of the list of mammals of Australia. Note that this sub-list includes six species of introduced rodent that are also included in the rodents of Australia sub-list.

Madhu Road National Park

Madhu Road National Park (Tamil: மடு றோட் தேசிய பூங்கா, translit. Maṭu Ṟōṭ Tēciya Pūṅkā; Sinhalese: මඩු පාර ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය, translit. Maḍu Pāra Jātika Vanōdyānaya ) is a national park in northern Sri Lanka, approximately 25 km (16 mi) east of Mannar.

Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Mirpurkhas District, Sindh, Pakistan.The Nara desert provides refuge to a large number of wildlife in the Sindh province. The Nara canal area, a chain of some 200 freshwater, brackish and saline lakes and marshes stretching for about 150 km along either side of the Nara Canal from Sorah in the north to Sanghar in the south, is known to be of great importance for wintering waterfowl and other wildlife.

The largest population of the endangered Mugger crocodile in Pakistan is found here.

National Chambal Sanctuary

National Chambal Sanctuary, also called the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, is a

5,400 km2 (2,100 sq mi) tri-state protected area in northern India for the protection of the Critically Endangered gharial, the red-crowned roof turtle and the Endangered Ganges river dolphin. Located on the Chambal River near the tripoint of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, it was first declared in Madhya Pradesh in 1978, and now constitutes a long narrow eco-reserve co-administered by the three states. Within the sanctuary, the pristine Chambal River cuts through mazes of ravines and hills with many sandy beaches.It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests.

Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary

Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, covering about 1,197 km2 (462 sq mi), is the largest wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh state in India. This wildlife sanctuary is a part of 5500 km2 of forested landscape. It is located in the centre of the state covering parts of Sagar, Damoh, Narsinghpur, and Raisen Districts. It is about 90 km from Jabalpur and about 56 km from Sagar.

It is a potential site for the Cheetah Reintroduction in India. The cheetah prey density were reasonable and based on current prey density the area could support about 25 cheetahs. 750 km2 area was recommended by relocation of 23 villages. After relocating the species, the site could support over 50 cheetahs and Nauradehi could harbour over 70 individuals.

The wildlife refuge is divided into six ranges:

Mohli Range,

Singpur Range,

Jhapan Range,

Sarra Range,

D'Gaon Range,

Nauradehi Range

Ruddy mongoose

The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is a species of mongoose found in hill forests of peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This mongoose, along with the striped-neck and Indian grey mongeese, are the only mongoose species endemic to India and Sri Lanka. The ruddy mongoose is very closely related to Indian grey mongoose, but distinguished by its slightly larger size and black-tipped tail extending for 2 to 3 inches at the distal end. There are two sub-species of this mongoose, H. smithii smithii in India, and H. smithii zeylanicus (Thomas, 1852) in Sri Lanka.

Stripe-necked mongoose

The stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) is a species of mongoose found in southern India to Sri Lanka.

The stripe-necked mongoose is the largest of the Asiatic mongooses. The range distribution of the Stripe-necked

Mongoose was restricted to the southern part of India and Sri Lanka. The Stripe-necked Mongoose was recorded from many parts of the

Western Ghats. Distribution of the Stripe-necked Mongoose in Similipal Tiger Reserve, Odisha was reported by. Similipal is the southeastern extension of the Chota Nagpur plateau. Although there was a sighting record, there were no specimens from the Eastern Ghats. Five records confirm the Stripe-necked Mongoose in Papikonda National Park and adjacent reserve forests,first report from the Eastern Ghats.It has a stout body set on short legs. It is easily distinguished by the black stripe that runs laterally on both sides of its neck. The body coloration is a rusty brown to grizzled grey. The relatively short tail is mostly black, with grey at the base. The stripe-necked mongoose feeds on frogs, crabs, mouse deer, hares, rodents, fowl, and reptiles. This mongoose species is more diurnal in habits. They prefer forested areas near a fresh water source. They are often found in swamps and rice fields.

Taudaha Lake

Taudaha Lake is a small lake in the outskirts of Kathmandu, in Nepal. The name comes from a combination of Newari words 'Ta', meaning snake and 'Daha', which means lake.

The Brahmin and the Mongoose

The Brahmin and the Mongoose (or The Brahmin's Wife and the Mongoose) is a folktale from India, and "one of the world's most travelled tales". It describes the rash killing of a loyal animal, and thus warns against hasty action. The story underlies certain legends in the West, such as that of Llywelyn and his dog Gelert in Wales, or that of Saint Guinefort in France. It is classified as Aarne-Thompson type 178A.

Wildlife of Bahrain

The wildlife of Bahrain is the flora and fauna of the archipelago of Bahrain, and is more varied than might be expected of this small group of islands in the Persian Gulf. Apart from a strip of the north and west of the main island, where crops such as potatoes are grown with irrigation, the land is arid. With a very hot dry summer, a mild winter, and brackish groundwater, the plants need adaptations in order to survive. Nevertheless, 196 species of higher plant have been recorded here, as well as about seventeen species of terrestrial mammals, many birds and reptiles, and a large number of migratory birds visit the islands in autumn and spring.

Wildlife of Iran

The wildlife of Iran has first been partly described by Hamdallah Mustawfi in the 14th century who only referred to animals. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin and Édouard Ménétries explored the Caspian Sea area and the Talysh Mountains to document Caspian fauna. Several naturalists followed in the 19th century, including Filippo de Filippi, William Thomas Blanford and Nikolai Zarudny who documented mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species.One of the most famous wildlife of Iran is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), which today survives only in Iran.

Wildlife of Kuwait

The wildlife of Kuwait consists of the flora and fauna of Kuwait and their natural habitats. Kuwait is a small country in the Middle East at the head of the Persian Gulf, located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and the land surface consists mainly of desert.

Extant Carnivora species

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