This small creature helps
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Dwarf Mongoose

Conservation Status:

Least Threatened

  • Found in areas up to 2,000 meters in altitude
  • Their range can cover 75 acres
  • Live in groups of 15 or less

Quick Facts

Scientific name

Helogale parvula


1 lb.


8 to 12 in. long

Life span

Up to 8 years


Forest and semiarid areas




50 to 54 days


Birds of prey, snakes


Where does the dwarf mongoose live?

Mongooses are found in most parts of Africa. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests and semiarid areas.

Tags: Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, East Africa, Southern Africa, Kazungula, Kilimanjaro, Limpopo, Samburu, Virunga, Zambezi, Dwarf Mongoose View Africa | Habitat

Physical Characteristics

What is a dwarf mongoose?

As its name would imply, the dwarf mongoose is the smallest of the African mongooses. It is stocky, with a fairly short, pointed muzzle and a long, fluffy tail. It is usually speckled brown or reddish in color.


Behavior & Diet

Despite its small size, the dwarf mongoose is carnivorous.

They consume small rodents, reptiles, young birds, termites, locusts, beetles, grubs, larvae, and spiders. They may also include fruit and other foods in their diet.

They live in a female-dominated society.

A dominant female and her male consort, usually the oldest animals in the group, lead each dwarf mongoose group. The rest of the group is composed of family members, generally older offspring of the dominant pair. Each year, the alpha female produces three litters of young, with two to four infants in each litter. The young of the dominant female are second in the group’s social system, tended for and pampered by subordinate members. However, this status is immediately lost upon arrival of a new litter. The baby sitters, who guard and defend the young, change often during the day so that individuals may forage for food.

Dwarf mongooses are nomads.

They live in groups of 12 to 15 individuals, covering a range of approximately 75 acres that overlaps with the ranges of other groups. A range usually contains 20 or more termite mounds, which are used as den sites, lookout posts, and sources of food. Groups seem to be constantly on the move through their range, seldom using a den site for more than a few days at a time.


  • Dwarf Mongoose  Billy Dodson
  • Dwarf Mongoose Billy Dodson
  • Dwarf Mongoose Billy Dodson
  • Dwarf Mongoose Daryl and Sharna Balfour

Humans hunt mongooses.

In some regions of Africa, the mongoose is eaten. It is also persecuted as an egg thief in regions where its habitat is in close proximity to humans.


Our solution to protecting the dwarf mongoose:

  • Expand conservation tourism.

    Expand conservation tourism. African Wildlife Foundation brings together communities and private investors to construct conservation tourism lodges like The Sanctuary at Ole Lentille in Kenya. The lodge provides sustainable income for the community, and the 20,000-acre conservancy is a safe home to mongooses and a variety of other wildlife.


Will you show the dwarf mongoose your support?

With your help, AWF can work on critical initiatives that provide safe spaces for the mongoose to live like setting aside land for conservation tourism lodges. Donate for a cause that will help with wildlife conservation and ensure the survival of this species.

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