Photo taken off of Wikipedia Commons (Free Domain)

Meerkats are located in dry plains and semi-deserts of southern Africa.  Meerkats avoid forested areas and prefer open grounds.  Meerkats like the open sandy grounds because in the thick vegetation areas predators can hide.  So the open area provides a visible area helping them watch for their predators by using their great vision.  See how well meerkats adapt to their environment.  Extremes heat temperatures pose little problem for the meerkats.  Meerkats are known to bask in the sun to stay alert.  Meerkats usually live in grass-lined burrows dug by other animals such as African ground squirrels.  Also, meerkats share their burrow with the ground squirrel and the yellow mongoose.  These burrows may be up to ten feet (three meters) long.  Some meerkats can even live in rock crevices.  Meerkats inhabit portions of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, extending from the south west to the eastward savanna and grassland areas.  Meerkat distribution depends on soil type, with firm and hard soils being common living grounds.  Meerkats terrestrial biome is desert or dune. In the southern portion of their habitat, fur color is darker, with lighter fur coloration in the more arid (dry) regions.  Because of the seasons the meerkats’ behavior does change when looking for food.  In the wet summer months the meerkat searches for food very early in the morning.  Then in the afternoon since the temperature is raising the meerkats will search for food in the shady areas.  Promptly after this most meerkats will take an afternoon nap in their burrows.  In the dry winter however they wait till it warms up to search for food.  This means that they don’t take an afternoon nap like in the summer.  Food isn’t as available as it is in the summer months, so this makes the hunting part more difficult.   

 The red area is the main distribution of meerkats in Africa.

Photo taken by Amanda Hustad* This is a picture in the Small Mammals Building where the Sashie the meerkat resides.  To read about Sashie click Meerkats!

Hit Counter                          Comments? Questions? Concerns? Don't hesitate to email me at

Amanda Hustad Copyright © 2007, Design by: Sunlight webdesign