Although they are very similar looking mammals, recent births show two very different reproduction strategies among mongooses: a single fertile pair in the entire group in the case of dwarfs and shared breeding in striped ones.
Friday, September 10, 2021.- One of the main objectives of BIOPARC is to show the rich biodiversity of our planet and learn about the impressive variety of survival strategies. In addition, if this information comes from the hand of the best news, such as new births, the satisfaction for the entire park team is maximum.
In this case, the latest joys come from two very similar species that many people confuse, the dwarf and striped mongooses, which have had new litters. Both species are included in the red list of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), for the moment with "least concern", being the main threat they face in nature the destruction of their habitat.
The BIOPARC group of striped mongooses (Mungos mungo) is one of the most numerous in Spain with 57 individuals, this time two litters have been born, one of 2 young and the other of 13. After giving birth, the young remain in the nest around 2 weeks and it is from then on when we can see them in the savannah area, near the aviary and the Kopje, where the lions are found.
Dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula undulata) inhabit the spectacular recreation of a termite mound in the BIOPARC savanna area, next to the burrow of the orichterope. The recent litter is 2 young and the enclosure is temporarily closed from public view so as not to alter the rearing of the new arrivals.
Although they look similar and share organization in collaborative communities, they are two very different species. The larger size and the characteristic pattern of the stripes allow them to be easily recognized. But the most interesting thing is that they have developed very different reproductive strategies, where the hierarchy is decisive. In the case of dwarf mongooses, the highest ranking position is occupied by the oldest female, followed by her partner, with whom she usually remains for life and they constitute the only fertile couple in the entire group. The rest of the females are inhibited, since the dominant one releases hormones in their urine that is a signal for them to lose their reproductive capacity. The other members of the colony participate in the care and feeding of the little ones.
With regard to striped mongoose, the hierarchy is given by the size and age of the individual. There is a dominant male and several reproductive females that usually synchronize their deliveries. In this way, the survival of the young increases since they are cared for all together, even any female with available milk can breastfeed the newborns. The mothers divide up the work, while some are left to take care of the young, others go out to look for food. But not only the mothers participate in this work, the subordinate males take turns on guard, in case a predator lurks and they also help to look for food and take care of the little ones.