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South American Coatimundi

Nasua nasua

South American Coatimundi live in forests from Colombia and Venezuela in the north to Uruguay and northern Argentina in the south.

The South American Coati is a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae). Procyonids belong to the mammalian order Carnivora. They evolved in the tropics, diverging from bears (ursids) about 30–50 million years ago.

Coati are omnivores with a varied diet. This includes a range of invertebrates and fruit, as well as small rodents, lizards and eggs. They forage in the trees and on the ground, using their flexible nose to probe into crevices and leaf litter in search of food.

Male coatis are usually solitary. Females, infants and juvenile coatis live in groups of up to 30 individuals. Pregnant females will leave their group to build a nest in a tree where she will give birth to a litter size of three or four young. The infants are able to walk and climb by the time they are a month old and within six weeks of birth the female returns to the group with her young.

South American Coatis are classified by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. There are no major threats to coatis, but habitat loss through deforestation and hunting for their meat by local people are potential threats to the species.

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HABITAT

South American Coati live in forests throughout South America.

DIET

Coati are omnivores with a varied diet, comprising a range of invertebrates and fruit, as well as small rodents, lizards and eggs.

THREATS

There are no major threats to coatis, but habitat loss through deforestation and hunting for their meat by local people are potential threats to the species.

CONSERVATION

LEAST CONCERN

They are relatively widespread throughout South America, present in several protected areas and have few major threats.

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