Animals as common as goats, deer, rabbits or mice can have a devastating effect on other wildlife
Herpestes javanicus is a small, agile creature with a slender body, short legs and a muscular tail. Hailing from Iran, India, Myanmar and the Thai Malay peninsula, the mongoose was introduced to islands including Mauritius, Fiji, the West Indies and Hawaii to control rat infestations on sugar cane plantations. But the mongoose soon found tastier morsels: native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds. Now, both the rat and mongoose continue to degrade these island ecosystems. Fiji’s barred-wing rail and Hispaniola’s racer have both gone extinct because of the mongoose, and the critically endangered petrel of Jamaica may soon follow.
Editor's Note: This entry originally had a photo that was incorrectly identified as a mongoose. We have replaced that image with the one above. Thanks to our readers for catching our error.
Want better willpower? Learn how to just say no with this step-by-step guide on boosting your self-control. In this one-minute video, Ask Smithsonian host Eric Schulze dishes on the science behind willpower – what saps it and what makes it stronger
Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It [Marc Goodman] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. NEW YORK TIMES and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER One of the world's leading authorities on global security
The Smithsonian is a repository of America's history, achievements, aspirations, and identity. It holds the artifacts of great leaders, and those of ordinary Americans. It houses scientific specimens and technological wonders. It is home to art, music, films, writings-a vast treasure trove of objects of extraordinary beauty and outstanding design.