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      Fate of the Mongooses and the Genet (Carnivora) in Mediterranean Europe: None Native, All Invasive?

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          Abstract

          The Mediterranean Basin (MB), connected by cultural exchanges since prehistoric times, provides an outstanding framework to study species introductions, notably in mammals. Carnivores are among the most successful mammalian invaders. As such, a number of middle-sized representatives (“mesocarnivores”) such as the domestic cat and mongooses have been pinpointed for their deleterious impact on the native fauna. In the MB, three species of mongooses (Herpestidae) and one genet (Viverridae) are or have recently been recorded and none of them has been considered native: the Indian grey mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, the small Indian mongoose H. auropunctatus, the Egyptian mongoose H. ichneumon, and the common genet Genetta genetta. In order to clarify the history of introduction and status of the mongooses and genet in Europe, I review various bodies of evidence including (1) their natural history and relationships with humans in their native ranges, (2) their history of introduction in Europe, (3) the enlightenments—and sometimes contradictions—brought by recent genetic analyses on their dispersal histories, and (4) their range dynamics and ecological interactions with the European fauna. The species of herpestids and viverrids present in Europe fall into three categories: (1) introduced and spreading ( G. genetta, H. auropunctatus), (2) introduced and extinct ( H. edwardsii), and (3) natural disperser and spreading ( H. ichneumon). In view of the reviewed evidence, there is weak support for a deleterious impact of the mongooses and genet on the European fauna (except possibly on the herpetofauna of small Adriatic islands in the case of H. auropunctatus), notably in comparison with genuine invasive species such as the black rat and the domestic cat. Rather than inefficient control programs such as those targeting H. ichneumon in Portugal and H. auropunctatus in Croatia, we suggest that a greater attention is focused on the restoration of large Carnivores (the natural regulators of mesocarnivore populations), mesocarnivore communities and natural habitats, to contribute to a more sustainable way of “managing” the mongooses and genet in Europe.

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          Interspecific Killing among Mammalian Carnivores

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            Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact.

             M. A. Zeder (2008)
            The past decade has witnessed a quantum leap in our understanding of the origins, diffusion, and impact of early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin. In large measure these advances are attributable to new methods for documenting domestication in plants and animals. The initial steps toward plant and animal domestication in the Eastern Mediterranean can now be pushed back to the 12th millennium cal B.P. Evidence for herd management and crop cultivation appears at least 1,000 years earlier than the morphological changes traditionally used to document domestication. Different species seem to have been domesticated in different parts of the Fertile Crescent, with genetic analyses detecting multiple domestic lineages for each species. Recent evidence suggests that the expansion of domesticates and agricultural economies across the Mediterranean was accomplished by several waves of seafaring colonists who established coastal farming enclaves around the Mediterranean Basin. This process also involved the adoption of domesticates and domestic technologies by indigenous populations and the local domestication of some endemic species. Human environmental impacts are seen in the complete replacement of endemic island faunas by imported mainland fauna and in today's anthropogenic, but threatened, Mediterranean landscapes where sustainable agricultural practices have helped maintain high biodiversity since the Neolithic.
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              A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                frangema@tiscali.it
                philippe.gaubert@umontpellier.fr
                Journal
                978-3-319-22246-2
                10.1007/978-3-319-22246-2
                Problematic Wildlife
                Problematic Wildlife
                A Cross-Disciplinary Approach
                978-3-319-22245-5
                978-3-319-22246-2
                21 September 2015
                : 295-314
                Affiliations
                FIZV, Rome, Italy
                GRID grid.121334.6, ISNI 0000000120970141, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM)—UM2-CNRS-IRD-EPHE-CIRAD, , Université de Montpellier, ; Place Eugène Bataillon—CC 64, Montpellier Cedex 05, 34095 France
                Article
                14
                10.1007/978-3-319-22246-2_14
                7123068
                © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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                © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

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