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African Genets, civets, and mongooses

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These small mammals are low slung, long tailed, largely nocturnal carnivores, with a variety of striking spottings, stripings or conspicuous tails. All members of the group have large eyes, facing front, and outstanding night vision.

The family Viverridae contains three subfamilies:
mongooses (Herpestinae), the true civets and genets (Viverrinae), and the palm civet (Paradoxurinae). There are some dozen species of more or less solitary mongooses, a dozen genets-, one African civet (Civettictis civetta), and one two-spotted or African palm civet (Nandinia binotata).

Their habitat stretches from forest edge to semi arboreal: true civets and mongooses, with the exception of the slender mongoose, are more likely to seek refuge in crevasses, holes in the ground tree trunks and tree roots. Social mongooses occur in packs averaging around a dozen animals, but up to as many as 30 in the dwarf mongoose. Dwarf mongoose packs are led by a dominant female which is the oldest adult female of the group. She is normally the only one that conceives in a pack.

Both dwarf mongooses and banded mongooses synchronize their breeding within the pack which ensures that the seasonís brood can be fed and protected together. In sub-humid regions, such as western Uganda, social mongooses are capable of producing four litters a year. Mongoose young are born underground.

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