Hawaii Biological Survey's


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24. Small Indian Mongoose / manakuke

Scientific name: Herpestes javanicus

Classification: Phylum: Chordata. Class: Mammalia. Family: Viveridae

Origin: Introduced

Status: Common in fields and lowlands

Distribution: O`ahu, Maui, Moloka`i, Big Island

Sound file: --

Map: --


The mongoose was introduced in 1883 to control rats in sugar cane fields. It was an excellent cane field ratter, but did not stay put in the cane fields, and eventually wandered into other areas where it continued to look for food. Although insects make up a large part of its diet, it is a serious enemy of native animals because it preys on ground-nesting birds and their eggs, such as seabirds and the nene.

   Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service