Crab-eating Mongoose in Gorumara – Chapramari, West Bengal

by Biswapriya Rahut
Biswapriya Rahut

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Though it is found in a variety of habitats, the Crab-eating Mongoose appears to prefer the vicinity of waterbodies. They eat crabs, but will also feed on fish, frogs, molluscs, insects and crayfish.

The Crab-eating mongoose (Herpestes urva) is a member of the Herpestidae family which represents the mongooses. Within Indian limits it is found in northern West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeastern hill states. Though it is found in a variety of habitats, the Crab-eating Mongoose appears to prefer the vicinity of waterbodies. They eat crabs, but will also feed on fish, frogs, molluscs, insects and crayfish.

On 28 July 2013 I sighted and photographed a Crab-eating Mongoose in the Gorumara N.P. & Chapramari WLS complex as it crossed the metalled forest road. This was in fact my third sighting of the species in this area. In 2010, I sighted it twice, first in August and then December in the vicinity of the Chapramari WLS. It has also been photographed in Buxa Tiger Reserve last year. Though not common in northern West Bengal, the frequency of sighting of this species over the last few years indicate that it is not as rare as it was thought to be.



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