Date of this Version
Caribbean Journal of Science (2022), 52: pp. 63–81.
The small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata) is a non-native invasive species across the Caribbean and a rabies reservoir on at least four islands in the region. Although previous studies reported mongoose density estimates in their non-native range, the variability in trapping designs, study seasonality, and analytical methods among studies precludes direct comparisons. This study is the first to report mongoose densities for the island of St. Kitts, West Indies. Our objective was to quantify mongoose densities across four habitats characteristic for the island. High capture and recapture rates in this study resulted in detailed estimates of spatial heterogeneity in mongoose densities, ranging from 0.53 (CI95: 0.46–0.61) mongooses/ha in suburban habitat to 5.85 (CI95: 4.42–7.76) mongooses/ha in nearby dry forest. Estimates were robust to the estimation method used (correlation among methods, r > 0.9). Female-biased sex ratios estimated from fall season versus mostly unbiased sex ratios estimated from summer season suggests seasonality in capture success resulting from differences in sex-specific activity patterns of mongooses. We found no effect of habitat characteristics, at the scale of trap placements, associated with mongoose capture success.
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