Mongooses

The Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), a native of Asia, was introduced to Hawaii in 1883. The mongoose was brought over from Jamaica in the West Indies in hopes that it would control rodent populations in the Hawaiian sugar cane fields. The introduction resulted in a slight reduction of rodent numbers but failed to have a significant negative impact on these populations. Mongooses can now be found from sea level to the summit of Haleakala (10,023 feet) on the Island of Maui. Although they prefer lowland habitats, mongooses can occupy any habitat type containing sufficient food and shelter. They are present in low numbers in the extremely wet and rugged Hanawi NAR and TNC Waikamoi Preserve. Stomach contents of mongooses trapped in Hanawi suggest that they feed primarily on rodents and insects although many instances of depredation on eggs, fledglings, and adults of native Hawaiian birds have also been recorded. They've been seen climbing trees and attempting to prey upon native birds in an ohia tree.

Effective predator control of these animals helps to alleviate their impact on forest bird populations.