Coatimundi Coatimundi

Scientific Classification

Common Name
coatimundi, red-tailed coatimundi, ring-tailed coatimundi, white-nosed coatimundi, coati, quash
Genus Species
Nasua nasua (nose)

Fast Facts

The coati is a relative of the raccoon with a long, pointed muzzle, a long, bushy and ringed tail, and brown to red-brown fur.
Approximately 60 cm (2 ft.) with a 60 cm (24 in.) tail
4.1 to 11.4 kg (9 to 25 lbs.)
Coatimundis search for food both on the ground and in the forest canopy, frequently climbing to obtain fruits. This species is more typically seen on the ground. Coatis are omnivorous, typically eating fruit and invertebrates. Diet may include frogs, lizards, small mammals, or birds and their eggs.
Gestation lasts approximately 77 days; 3 to 5 offspring
Sexual Maturity
About 2 years
Life Span
7 to 10 years; up to 16 years
The Coati ranges from Arizona and parts of southern New Mexico in the United States through Mexico (except the Baja peninsula and central Sierra Madres) and Central America to Panama and marginally into South America in areas west of the Andes), especially in Colombia.
Highly adaptable but is basically a tropical woodland and open forest animal. It is rarely seen in open grassland or desert.
Global: The population is unknown and estimates range from rare to common. It is rare in the United States and can be anything from common to scarce in Central America where its status is less well known, but indications are that its numbers have been greatly reduced.
The population density is greater in the tropics than in the southwestern United States.
In Costa Rica the species is considered to be fairly common.
Their population appears to be declining but is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least concern
CITES: Appendix III in Honduras; elsewhere in its range it does not appear to be afforded any official protection
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. Coatis feed by using their long noses, poking them under rocks and into crevices. They also use their long claws to dig holes or tear apart rotting logs.
  2. Coatis are often seen in large groups (called "bands") of 15 to 20 individuals. When surprised, the entire group will leap into the trees while emitting clicks and "woofs."
  3. These animals are diurnal, sleeping in treetop leaves and branches during the night. They spend most of day in search of food, grooming, and resting.
  4. The species is very social, living in bands of up to 30 (although 12 is more typical), which are usually related females and their young, Adult males are typically solitary.
  5. Coatis walk with their ringed tails held high. When climbing, their tail is used for balance.
  6. So accustomed to arboreal life, coatis mate in the trees, creating nests for their young among the branches. The offspring stay in the nest with their mother for 5 to 6 weeks before she rejoins the band.
  7. Their ankles are double jointed and extremely flexible, enabling the animal to descend trees headfirst.

Ecology and Conservation

Coatis are an important food source for larger predators, and in some regions, are hunted for their meat by humans.

These animals help control insect, reptile, and amphibian populations as well. However, they are also seen as agricultural pests, damaging farmers' crops.

The Coatimundi is locally threatened is some areas as a result of ongoing habitat loss and hunting. The Coatimundia has a wide distribution range and is present in many protected areas across its range.

The Coati is classified as an endangered species in New Mexico and it is given total legal protection there. However, in Arizona, where the largest population lives, they are subject to year round hunting.


Grzimek, B. Grzimek's Encyclopedia, Mammals. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing, Co. 1990.

Belize Zoo.

Santa Barbara Zoo. Downloaded on 09 October 2018.

Cuarón, A.D., Helgen, K., Reid, F., Pino, J. & González-Maya, J.F. 2016. Nasua narica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41683A45216060. Downloaded on 09 October 2018.