Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The globally invasive small Indian mongoose Urva auropunctata is likely to spread with climate change.

Abstract

Invasive alien species represent one of the major factors of global loss of biodiversity and disruption of natural ecosystems. The small Indian mongoose, Urva auropunctata, is considered one of the wild carnivore species with the greatest negative impact on global biodiversity. Understanding of the factors underpinning the species' distribution and potential dispersion in a context of climate change thus appears crucial in the conservation of native ecosystems. Here we modelled the current and future climatically favourable areas for the small Indian mongoose using Ecological Niche Modelling based on data sets filtrated in environmental spaces. Projections from these models show extensive current favourable geographical areas, covering continental and insular regions within tropical and sub-tropical latitudes. Moreover, predictions for 2050 reveal that climate change is likely to expand current favourable areas north of the current favourable spaces, particularly in Eastern Europe. This climate-induced expansion is particularly worrisome given that the species is already spreading in the Balkan region. Our projections suggest that it is very likely that the small Indian mongoose will have an increasing influence on ecosystems and biodiversity in Europe by 2050.