**This was part of my MSc research to read about my PhD proposal CLICK HERE**
The small Asian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) was introduced in Puerto Rico to control rats in sugar cane plantations. This attempt at biocontrol failed because rats forage at night and mongooses during the day! Mongooses have grown in numbers because of a lack of predators and opportunistic feeding habits.
El Yunque National Forest (YNF) in Puerto Rico is a subtropical rainforest that supports mongoose populations. The presence of mongoose in YNF is a concern because mongoose may negatively impact native fauna and are a threat to human health (rabies virus). Effective management strategies are likely location-specific for mongooses in the forest. For management strategies involving population control, data on population size and spatial distribution are very valuable. Thus, I aim to have an initial understanding of the current population of mongooses in YNF and how it associates with habitat features in the landscape.
The way in which I can determine population size in different areas of YNF is by using “Capture-Mark-Recapture” (CMR) techqniques. I use a ear-tags to obtain information on individual encounter rates within the larger population. With this information I can build population models to estimate abundance and learn about the trapping behavior of the animal.
I hope I can contribute in providing valuable information for the control of this species in YNF.
UPDATE! The first published paper for this project is out . It was published on the Caribbean Naturalist Vol 19