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Punjab – Indian Grey Mongoose

Indian Gray Mongoose

Common Name: Indian Grey Mongoose

Local Name: Nevlaa (Hindi/Punjabi), Beji (Bengali), mungusa (Marathi), munguli (Kannada)

Scientific Name: Urva edwardsii 

Description: The common Indian Grey Mongoose has tawny grey fur, which is comparatively much more grizzled and coarser than other mongoose species. The grizzled appearance of the fur is mainly due to the individual hairs that have 10 alternate dark and light bands. Its small brown legs are darker than the rest of the body, while the length of its bushy tail equals its entire body length. Male mongooses are quite larger compared to females.

Distribution: The Indian Grey Mongoose is found throughout India, except in the high Himalayas. This mongoose species inhabits open scrublands, cultivated lands, dry forests and lives inside burrows, under rocks, or among tree groves. The Indian Grey Mongoose preys on snakes, rodents, eggs of birds, and various invertebrates.

Threats: A study by the Wildlife Trust Of India  reported that more than 50,000 mongooses are killed by poachers every year. Mongoose hair is used for making paintbrushes that are most sought-after by artists and painters, who remain quite unaware of the great amount of bloodshed that is needed to produce these paintbrushes. It is estimated that to extract 1 kg of mongoose hair for making paintbrushes, about 50 mongooses are trapped and beaten to death. According to reports by TRAFFIC, these mongoose hairbrushes are smuggled to the United States, the Middle East, and other European nations.

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