meerkat crouched down and looking up on a piece of wood


Suricata suricatta
Conservation Status IUCN
Least Concern

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endangered list labels least concern
endangered list least concern sign
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    Animal Class
    Mammal, Herpestidae
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    Desserts, savannahs, and dry grassland. Distribution depends on the soil type, with firm – hard soils being preferred.
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    Mainly insectivorous – will also eat plant materials as well as spiders, millipedes centipedes, eggs, scorpions, snakes, and small rodents.
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    Conservation Status
    Least concern
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  • Introduction

    Meerkats live in highly social groups called mobs.

    Meerkats are among the most social of all mammals living in groups composed of multiple families, that can contain up to 30 individuals. These groups are known as a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”.

    Meerkats are members of the mongoose family. They have long claws which they use to dig elaborate underground burrows.

    They are diurnal animals, being active during the day. In the wild, they will emerge after the sun has heated the surface of their burrow.

    Meerkats are known for their sentinel behaviour. While the group forages for food, there is always one sentry or guard keeping watch for predators including jackals, hawks, and eagles. The Sentinel gives a distinctive bark to sound an alarm and the mob will flee into their burrows for protection. Sentinel rotation occurs throughout the day, among members of the group.

    Size: Standing up on their hind legs, Meerkats have a long, slender body of approximately 35cm and their tail can be up to 25cm long. Adults can weigh up to approximately 900 grams.

  • Threats/ Conservation

    Least concern:

    Threats to populations include habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade.

  • Habitat

    Meerkats play a key role in the ecosystem, that they inhabit. Their diet consists, mainly, if insects and so they will keep populations of pests at bay. They are also a vital food source for predators in the ecosystem.

    Meerkats are cooperative breeders, meaning helpers, in the group, will assist in raising young, that are not their own.

    Each mob has a dominant alpha male and female. Non-breeding members of the mob act as babysitters helping nursing females.

  • Fun Facts

    Corsac foxes play a key role in the ecosystem, that they inhabit. As predators they keep a healthy balance in the ecosystem by ensuring populations of prey species are maintained.

    Groups often contain a breeding pair and their young. After the female gives birth, to a litter of 2 – 6 young, males will assist in the raising of the young as do other “helper” foxes. The female will move her young to several burrows after they are born.

    Corsac foxes communicate using high pitched yelps and will bark to alarm call.