Facts on Jamaica: How Much Do You Know about the Jamaican Mongoose?

Did you know…Jamaica’s mongoose originated from nine of the animals imported to the island from India in 1872 by William Bancroft Espeut to control the rodent population on his estate at Spring Gardens in Portland. While the mongoose appeared to be beneficial at first, saving some £45, 000 pounds sterling per year in pest control costs, the animals were ultimately blamed for reducing fruit, fish, and crab supplies. They also went after chickens and other farm products and killed yellow snakes, ground lizards and insects that were critical to maintain a balance in the environment. The rodents also got wise to the mongoose and learned to climb trees to avoid them in a clever act of self-defense.