Stripe-necked mongoose 

The mongoose is a small, agile mammal native to India and Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Herpestidae and is closely related to other carnivorous mammals such as weasels, ferrets, and otters. The mongoose is known for its slender body, sharp claws, and thick fur, which can be gray, brown, or black depending on the species. They are excellent hunters and are able to take down prey much larger than themselves. In India, the mongoose is considered a symbol of courage and is often depicted in art and folklore. However, they can also be a nuisance as they are known to raid poultry farms and steal eggs. Despite this, they are an important part of the ecosystem and are highly valued for their ability to control pests such as rats and snakes.

Stripe-necked mongoose 

Sl NoCharacteristicsInformation
1Common NameStripe-necked mongoose
2Scientific NameHerpestes vitticollis
3Length60-75 cm
4ColorGrayish-brown with a white stripe on the neck
5Height / girthN/A
6Tail length40-45 cm
7Height till shoulder30-35 cm
8Average weight1.5-3 kg
9Food habitsOmnivorous, feeds on insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, fruits, and seeds
10HabitatFound in a variety of habitats including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas
11Interesting factsThe Stripe-necked mongoose is known for its agility and ability to climb trees, and is primarily active during the day. They are known to be fearless and will take on prey much larger than themselves, such as venomous snakes. They are also known to have a distinctive, high-pitched call that can be heard over long distances.


The stripe-necked mongoose (Urva vitticolla) is a small carnivorous mammal found in South Asia, specifically in India, Sri Lanka, and possibly Bangladesh.The stripe-necked mongoose has a dark brown or black coat with a distinctive white stripe from its chin to its chest, and a broader white stripe from its neck to its shoulders. The underside of the mongoose is usually a lighter colour, ranging from yellow to grey. The stripe-necked mongoose is a relatively small species, with males typically weighing between 1.3 and 1.5 kilograms, and females slightly smaller at 1 to 1.3 kilograms. They measure around 50 to 60 centimetres in length, including their tail which can be up to 30 centimetres long. In addition to its distinctive colouring, the stripe-necked mongoose has a long, slender body and short legs, which makes it well-suited for moving through dense underbrush and other types of vegetation. They also have small, rounded ears and a pointed snout. Stripe-necked mongooses are solitary animals and are most active during the day, although they can also be active at night. They are excellent climbers and swimmers and have been known to dive into the water to escape predators or catch fish. They are also very agile and can move quickly through the dense vegetation of their habitat. These mongooses are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will eat a variety of prey, including insects, small rodents, birds, and reptiles.

Food Habits

As for food habits, stripe-necked mongooses are opportunistic predators, which means that they will eat a variety of prey depending on what is available. Their diet consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. They have been known to hunt and eat snakes, which is unusual among mongooses, as most species are known for their ability to kill venomous snakes.


The stripe-necked mongoose (Urva vitticolla) is found in South Asia, specifically in India, Sri Lanka. In India, they are found in the Western Ghats. 

In terms of habitat, the stripe-necked mongoose is typically found in forested areas, including tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, and scrublands. They can also be found in areas near water, such as marshes, streams, and rivers.

Vulnerable Species

The stripe-necked mongoose (Urva vitticolla) is not currently listed as a threatened species in India, and its population status is considered to be stable. However, like many wild species, they do face some threats that could impact their populations in the future.

One of the primary threats to stripe-necked mongooses in India is habitat loss due to deforestation, urbanisation, and agricultural expansion. This is particularly true in areas where the mongooses’ natural habitat is being converted into farmland or used for other human activities.

Another potential threat to the species is hunting and trapping for their fur and for use in traditional medicine. While there is little information available on the extent of this practice, it is possible that it could have an impact on local populations of stripe-necked mongooses.

Protected Areas

Silent Valley National Park is located in the Palakkad district of Kerala and covers an area of 237.52 square kilometers (91.78 square miles). It is known for its tropical evergreen forest and rich biodiversity, including many endemic and endangered species such as the lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, and the Malabar giant squirrel. It is also home to several species of big cats, including leopards and tigers.

Periyar National Park is located in the Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala. It is known for its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. Apart from Indian striped mongooses, the park is also home to tigers, elephants, leopards, gaurs, sambar deer, wild boars, and many bird species. 

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu and covers an area of 321 square kilometers (124 square miles). It is known for its scenic beauty and rich wildlife, including Indian elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs, sambar deer, and Indian striped mongooses. Visitors to the sanctuary can go on jeep safaris and guided treks to explore the forest and see the wildlife.

Anshi National Park: Located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, this park is home to several endangered species including tigers, elephants, and black panthers.

Eravikulam National Park: Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, this park is known for its rare and endangered species of fauna and flora.

Bandipur National Park: Located in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka, this park is known for its diverse wildlife including tigers, leopards, elephants, and gaurs.

Nagarhole National Park: Located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, this park is home to several endangered species including tigers, elephants, and Indian bison.


In conclusion, the mongoose is an indispensable carnivorous mammal that plays a vital role in regulating the population of pests and rodents in diverse ecosystems. Their remarkable adaptations, such as their imperviousness to venom and lightning-fast reflexes, render them highly efficient hunters of snakes and other perilous prey. Nevertheless, mongoose populations face an imminent threat from habitat destruction, hunting, and the aggressive spread of invasive species. Therefore, concerted conservation efforts are indispensable to safeguard and preserve these invaluable members of our ecosystems. The significance of the mongoose cannot be overstated, as they contribute to the equilibrium and well-being of varied ecosystems, and their preservation is crucial for maintaining the biodiversity of our planet.

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