Head and body length, 32-38 cm; tail, 27-32 cm
Uknown; populations declining
Undisturbed forests in northeast and western Madagascar
To prey or to play—that is the question. The Malagasy ring-tailed mongoose does plenty of both. Though rather petite by mongoose standards, it is a deft hunter, taking advantage of keen senses and agility to prey on everything from reptiles and small mammals to birds and their eggs. When not out of hunting, it spends quality time playing with the other members of its small. tight-knit group. Based around a central pair, these groups sleep together in burrows that they dig themselves or find in tree hollows. But they can hardly rest easy, threatened by habitat loss and degradation on one side and competition from feral dogs and cats on the other.