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Collared mongoose Credit: FFI

Rare golden mongoose found in Aceh

Posted on: 13.08.12 (Last edited) 14 August 2012

A recent short training session for community rangers conducted by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in the Jantho Wildlife Reserve, Aceh, produced a surprise result.

During a three-day camera trapping workshop the team photographed an unusual mammal not recognised by any of the local rangers. Looking like an oversized ginger weasel, this bright-coloured animal appears to be a rare colour morph of the collared mongoose Herpestes semitorquatus.

This species has been recorded in Sumatra only occasionally and is noted as Data Deficient by IUCN. In neighbouring Borneo, they are usually a dark brown colour, but a recent paper published in the Small Carnivore Conservation Journal also reported instances of this peculiar colour phase.

Collared mongoose Credit:FFI

Collared mongoose Credit:FFI

Dr Matthew Linkie, FFI’s Aceh Programme Manager noted, “FFI has been using camera traps in Sumatra for over a decade and accumulated hundreds of thousands of days of trapping time. It is ironic that the first image we get of collared mongoose should be made during a brief training workshop.”

This latest record adds to the archive of scarce and endemic species camera trapped by FFI in Sumatra, including the Sumatran ground cuckoo, Sumatran striped rabbit and Sumatran muntjac.

Collared mongoose. Credit: FFI

Collared mongoose. Credit: FFI

Written by
Jeremy Holden

Jeremy Holden is a photographer and field biologist who has worked in association with Fauna & Flora International since 1995. He specialises in camera trapping rare and cryptic animals in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.

Other posts by Jeremy Holden

FFI has been using camera traps in Sumatra for over a decade and accumulated hundreds of thousands of days of trapping time. It is ironic that the first image we get of collared mongoose should be made during a brief training workshop.

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