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The effects of anthropogenic food on the spatial behaviour of small Indian mongooses (Herpestes javanicus) in a subtropical rainforest

  • Jessica H. Quinn (a1) and Desley A. Whisson (a2)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which mongooses Herpestes javanicus in the Caribbean National Forest use areas of high human use, and to compare space use patterns in these areas to those in areas of low human use. It was expected that the abundance of anthropogenic food in areas of high human use would lead to (1) higher population densities; (2) smaller home ranges; (3) more extensive range overlap and reduced territorial behaviour, than areas of low use. During the dry season, 14 mongooses were radio-collared and tracked in each of two areas: an area of high human use and an area of low human use. Six of these mongooses, one in an area of low human use and five in an area of high human use, were also tracked during the wet season. In both seasons, mongooses in the area of high human use used picnic areas more than expected based on availability. In the dry season, mongooses in the area of high human use had smaller home ranges than those in the area of low human use. Ranges overlapped extensively in both areas, and slightly more so in the area of low human use. However, individuals avoided each other spatially within the shared area of their ranges, and core home ranges overlapped little. In the wet (breeding) season, home-range size and overlap increased more for males than for females. Such differences in behaviour and population dynamics in these two areas have implications for rabies transmission rates and management throughout the forest.

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All correspondence to: J. H. Quinn. E-mail: jhquinn@ucdavis.edu

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The effects of anthropogenic food on the spatial behaviour of small Indian mongooses (Herpestes javanicus) in a subtropical rainforest

  • Jessica H. Quinn (a1) and Desley A. Whisson (a2)

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