Mongoose caught dead

15/02/2010 04:07

By Jasmine Netzler (Samoa Observer)

Good news.
A 67cm long mongoose sighted at Aleipata in September was caught after 10 traps were planted in areas where it had been seen by villagers.
Taule’ale’ausumai La’avasa Malua, CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said the male Indian mongoose “was found near the entrance of the wharf at Satitoa.”
“The creature was caught last night (Wednesday) in a trap which is a much stronger than the normal mouse traps,” Taule’ale’ausumai said.
“I don’t think it lived very long than an hour or two when it was caught so this morning (Thursday) it was dead.”
He said concerns were raised when villagers sighted the creature.
Invasive species endanger biodiversity, the CEO said.
So when the specie was caught, the CEO said they were relieved.
“How old it is and how long it has been here can only be determined after specimens of the creature is tested in the labs,” he said.
“We are not worried about how it came to here in Samoa that is responsibility of the Quarantine which they already have started work on but our concerns are how this creature could damage the environment.”
The Asian/ Indian mongoose which has been roaming Samoa for the past four months.
He said there are only two places near Samoa the Indian mongoose also known as Herpestes javanicus could have come from; Hawaii and Fiji.
The search for the Indian Mongoose by the ministry was assisted by SPREP, the Pacific Invasive initiative and Conservation International, all  who funded for the purchase of 30 traps from New Zealand.
Taule’ale’ausumai said he was pleased it was caught but this would not mean a cease of further searches for the next six months in case there might be more out there.
He expressed happiness the creature found was male for if it was a female it would have already reproduced.