Banded Mongoose Study Site

peninsula1

Location

 

The Banded Mongoose Project is based on and around Mweya Peninsula, in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, western Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and protects a variety of different habitats, including open savannah, vast crater lakes, swamps and extensive areas of forest. The park is home to a diverse array of fauna, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hippo, chimpanzee and more than 600 species of bird.

Around Mweya

 

Mweya Peninsula is a 4.95 km² promontory extending into Lake Edward, approximately 14 km from the Democratic Republic of Congo/Uganda border (0 12’S; 27 54’E).

 

The study area is dominated by grasses (mainly Sporobulus pyrimidalis, Chloris orientalis and Chloris gayana), interspersed with thickets of Euphorbia candelabrum, Capparis tormentosa and Azima tetracantha. Mweya Peninsula supports a population of over 400 banded mongooses living in twelve social groups. In addition the peninsula is home to a variety of other carnivores including lion, leopard, hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose and Egyptian mongoose. Common herbivores include hippopotamus, waterbuck, giant forest hog, bushbuck, warthog, Ugandan kob and buffalo. Elephants are regular visitors, sometimes in herds of over 150 individuals, but are not permanent residents within the study site. Crocodiles are regularly observed by the lake shore and monitor lizards and snakes (including rock python) are common.

 

Mweya is the headquarters of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the site of Mweya Safari Lodge, a busy tourist hotel. There are no fences in the park and wild animals (including mongooses) roam freely in Mweya village. As Mweya is close to the equator, there is little annual fluctuation in day length or temperature. Some rain falls in most months, although rainfall peaks in April-May and September-November.

distribution-of-banded-mongoose

Map of Africa showing the distribution of the banded mongoose (shaded) and the position of Uganda (green).

uganda-map

The map shows the location of Mweya Peninsula (red dot) within Queen Elizabeth National Park.