Indian mongoose

Alert

Have you seen Indian mongoose?

Be on the lookout for Indian mongoose and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Indian mongoose.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to southern Asia from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, the Indian mongoose is a small, predatory mammal. Introduced to a number of countries to control rodents in sugarcane crops, it has gone on to establish feral populations in locations including the West Indies, Hawaiian Islands and Suriname.

The Indian mongoose has not been recorded in Australia, but pest risk assessment indicates that it could establish a wild population in Queensland if introduced. Feral populations in other countries have caused the extinction and decline of many native species.

The Indian mongoose is listed as one of the world's 100 worst alien invasive species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. To prevent it from establishing in Queensland, restrictions apply to its import, possession and sale.

The Indian mongoose is a prohibited invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Herpestes javanicus

Description

  • Ferret-like animal with body 50-70cm long, average weight 300-665g.
  • Legs are short.
  • Head is elongated, with pointed muzzle and small ears.
  • Tail is robust, tapered.
  • Feet have 5 toes with retractable claws.
  • Fur ranges from pale to dark brown.

Habitat

  • Can inhabit desert, shrublands, grasslands, open forest and coastal areas.
  • Sometimes prefers degraded habitats, such as urban and agricultural areas and secondary forest.

Distribution

  • Not yet recorded in Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Life expectancy 4 years.
  • Sexually mature 4 months (males), 9-10 months (females).
  • Can breed 2-3 times each year.
  • Average litter size 2-3 young.

Affected animals

  • poultry
  • native birds
  • native animals

Impacts

Environmental

  • Eats native fauna, particularly birds and small mammals.

Economic

  • Attacks poultry.

Control

  • Early detection is essential for preventing pest establishment. If you have seen or are in possession of an Indian mongoose, please contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Legal requirements

  • Indian mongoose is a prohibited invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be kept, moved, fed, given away or sold without a permit.
  • The Act requires that all sightings to be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
  • By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of Indian mongoose escaping until they receive advice from an authorised officer.

Further information