Brown-Tailed Mongoose, Salanoia concolor

The brown-tailed mongoose (Salanoia concolor), also known as the salano or the Malagasy brown-tailed mongoose. This species is native to the island of northeastern areas of Madagascar and it prefers a habitat within tropical and subtropical arid forests.

The brown-tailed mongoose was first described by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1837. Two species were given the name Galidia olivacea and Galidia unicolor. These classifications are no longer valid, and the only current member of the Galidia genus is the ring-tailed mongoose. Hilaire changed the name unicolor to concolor when he realized it was a misprint. Both of the species within this genus were re-classified into the genus Galidia by John Edward Gray in 1865. This genus was changed on more time in 1904, but in 1972, R. Albignac only recognized only one species. However, in 2010, one more species was classified into the Salanoia genus called Salanoia durrelli.

The brown-tailed mongoose is active during the day and can be found alone or in pairs resting in tree hollows or burrows at night. After about three months one young is born. This species is elusive, so it is difficult to understand its habits and lifecycle. It has only been spotted in a few areas, some of which are protected. The main threat to this species is habitat loss caused by deforestation.

The forests are cleared to make room for farms and charcoal production and are logged. Although this species is most likely hunted by native and non-native carnivores, it is not known how this affects population numbers. More information is needed in order for conservation efforts to be effective. The brown-tailed mongoose currently appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Vulnerable.”

Image Caption: Plate of Galidia olivacea I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Credit: I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire/Wikipedia