Meerkats Wiki

Your guide to providing the best quality contributions to the wiki and its readers! Below is a list (in alphabetical order) of the terms you will commonly see on the Wiki. It is important that you understand these terms to prevent confusion and to apply them to the articles where appropriate.

The Dictionary

Aborted – this meerkat did not carry her pregnancy to full term and lost her pups via miscarriage. No category for this term.

A dominant meerkat is collared for tracking purposes

Absent – the meerkat is not in its group at the end of the month, this does not mean they are necessarily lost or dead, usually they return to their group or join a new one. The category for this term is no longer used.

Appeared – this meerkat was seen hanging around *insert group here*. Usually this is used for evicted females who are attempting to get back into their mob. No category for this term.

Deceased (Dead) – this meerkat died not by predation, instead they died of disease (TB), rival meerkats or were road killed. If you’re not aware of the cause of death simply list it as ‘Unknown’, an admin or other user will add the cause later. Snake bites are also occasionally put under the deceased column instead of predation.. Category: Deceased meerkats

Dominant – a meerkat who is the boss of the group. Each group has a dominant female and dominant male, though it is the dominant female who is the highest-ranking member of the entire mob. Category: Dominant Females, Dominant Males and Dominant meerkats. Please do not use the category ‘Dominate meerkats’ as it is incorrectly termed. This category should be applied to a meerkat regardless of the length of their reign (even if it was only for a day it should still be added). While terms like “Alpha female/male” and “Matriarch/Patriarch” are accepted, we prefer to use dominant as it is what the researchers use.

Evicted – this meerkat has been banished from their mob. On the rare occasion a dominant female can be listed as evicted, in this instance the more likely scenario is that she disappeared for a period to breed with a rover. Because the Life History does not have a column for “she went off to woo a man” she’s put under eviction. Because we don’t know the exact truth of the situation it’s better to simply list the DF in the chronology as “evicted”, KMP Friends (if possible) will determine the truth at a later date. Category: Evicted females and Evicted males. The evicted female category is not used very often, it should only be applied during the month of the meerkat’s eviction, once they have returned to their mob the category should be removed. Obviously this is a lot of effort to keep up with, so often we don’t bother with it… However, the Evicted male category should remain indefinitely for the males as male evictions are extremely rare. Bizarre occurrences are something we like to keep track of for future references.

Emmigration/Emmigrated – this meerkat left *insert group here*. i.e. Zaphod emigrated from the Whiskers into the Aztecs. No category for this term.

Encounters – the group met or were visited by other meerkats (not a group). In the chronology we usually state “*insert meerkat* visited the group” as this is the most likely scenario (i.e. roving males visiting to look for a mate). No category for this term.

Encounter with a rival group

Group Encounters – this mob clashed with a rival group. In chronology we simply say “Encountered *insert group* *insert number of times they encountered that month..*”. These encounters are sometimes referred to as Inter-group Interactions (IGI’s) by researchers. No category for this term.

Immigration/Immigrated – this meerkat joined *insert group here*. i.e. Zaphod immigrated into the Whiskers from the Vivian. No category for this term.

KMP Friends (KMPF) – Friends of the Kalahari Meerkat Project are paying members who have access to more detailed versions of the chronology. There are strict rules about what they can and can’t share with non-friends about the meerkats, sometimes bits and pieces of KMPF info may be added to the wiki. No category for this term.

Lactate – process where a subordinate female produces milk for another female’s offspring, even those who haven’t had pups of their own can lactate. No category for this term.

Last Seen (LS) – this meerkat disappeared and is considered lost, their fate is unknown. The researchers give the meerkats 1-2 months before declaring them LS (in the mean time they’ll be listed as absent). Males are usually given 1 month, females given 2 months and pups usually none! Please look at the history of the meerkat in the chronology to find out when it was last sighted, that would be the date that they should be considered Last Seen. Category: Last Seen meerkats. Please note that LS is always spelt in capitals (“Last Seen” not “Last seen” or “last seen”).

Life History (LH) – the public monthly report on the meerkat groups being studied by the Kalahari Meerkat Project. It can be downloaded for free on the KMP official website here.

Lost – this meerkat gave birth but their pups were killed by another female or a rival group. No category for this term.

Mobbing meerkat behaviour

Missing – This meerkat disappeared but the date of their disappearance is unknown. In that instance we say the meerkat is missing and not Last Seen. Category: Missing meerkats

Mobs – a group or meerkats. Gangs and clans are also accepted, but we prefer to use the term mob. Category: Meerkat Mobs. If a group is lost then we use the category Lost Mobs. Each meerkat group is given its own separate mob category. For example, the Lazuli mob’s category is ‘Lazuli meerkats’, each individual who is born in or joins the Lazuli must have that category added to their page.

Mobbing - the act of meerkats inspecting a potential threat by growling, spitting and sniffing with their backs arched and tails raised. No category for this term.

Predated (APRED) – this meerkat was killed by a predator. If the predator is known it’s good to list it. Any species of bird are usually listed as “a bird of prey”, whereas other predators should be more specific (jackal, Cape Cobra, Puff Adder ect.). Category: Deceased meerkats (no separate category for predator-specific deaths).

Roving – this meerkat is off looking for a mate in a rival group. Males go roving far more frequently than females. Category: Roving males or Roving females. As with the eviction category, we only keep roving tags on males during the month that they rove (but there are so many males roving each month that keeping up has become too difficult). However, we keep the tags permanently on females who rove, since female roving is extremely rare.

Splinter group - when a meerkat group is divided or separated into two halves they become known as a splinter group. Splinter groups usually reunite. No category for this term.

Subgroups - a small group formed by rovers or evicted females. These are usually not fully established and last for short periods. Subgroups are usually named after the group the members originated from (i.e. Drie Doring 2 was given to a subgroup of the Drie Doring Mob). However, we do not make pages for subgroups unless they become an established group with a new name (i.e. the Baobab 2 subgroup became known as the Teabags). No category for this term.

Subordinate – a meerkat who is not the leader of the group. The category for this term (Subordinate meerkats) is only applied to dominant meerkats who were overthrown/lost their position. If we tagged every single subordinate meerkat the list would be endless!

Tuberculosis (TB) - a fatal disease in meerkats. No category for this term. For more informations see Tuberculosis

War Dance - the act of a meerkat jumping with its back arched and tail raised, use to try and intimidate predators and rival groups. No category for this term.

Do  not fear if you can’t take all this information in at once, practice makes progress! Any errors made will later be corrected by another user or admin. If you’d like to see some examples of how we structure our articles I recommend reading some of our featured pages such as Flower Whiskers, Yossarian Vivian and Whiskers Mob. For more information on structuring articles please read the Editing Instructions. Click here for more information on meerkats in general. And click here for information on the Kalahari Meerkat Project. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and an admin will try to get back to you.