The Small Asian Mongoose. Known also by
it's Hawaiian name of 'Iole manakuke (or just manakuke.
Hawaiian plantation owners who in
1883, brought 72 mongooses from Jamaica to the Hamakua Coast here on the Big
Island. for rat control. These were raised and their offspring were shipped to
plantations on other islands.
Currently, only the islands of Lana'i
and Kaua'i are (thought to be) free of mongoose. There are two conflicting
stories of why Kaua'i
The problem with mongooses is they are
active mostly during the day, whereas the rat is active at night - so while they
did eat some rats, they had very little impact on the overall rat population.
More importantly, however, was the fact
that the mongoose have a taste for birds and especially bird eggs. While the rat
was already endangering native populations of ground nesting birds, bringing the
mongoose only added to the problem. The normal diet of a mongoose is largely
made up of insects, but also includes small cats, frogs, rodents, seeds,