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The sentry of the desert
A lookout barks to warn other meerkats of danger
The meerkat is a small diurnal mammal that lives in arid and desert environments in southwestern Africa. It is part of the Herpestidae family, together with mongooses. Often called “the sentry of the desert”, the meerkat gets this name due to the posture it assumes when standing on its two hind legs. Whilst in this position, it will observe the surrounding area for even the slightest sign of danger. One individual in particular is associated with this task: the lookout! From an elevated position, the lookout scans the surrounding area for birds of prey and other predators, and if a threat is spotted it will warn other meerkats with barks or cries.
The Beauval Nature association
The meerkat’s conservation status is deemed to be as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Furthermore, its population is relatively stable.
For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.
A relatively common species
In Beauval (at The Land of the Lions or next to The African Savannah), if the temperature is too high or when it’s raining, all the members of the group remain in the burrow or in their shelter visible through the windows. At the end of the day, the whole colony benefits from sunbathing for the last time before returning to its burrow for the night.
Learn more about the species