Procyon cancrivorus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Procyon cancrivorus
Species Authority: (G.[Baron] Cuvier, 1798)
Common Name(s):
English Crab-eating Raccoon
Spanish Mapache Lavador, Cangrejera, Mayuato

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Reid, F. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern since although naturally rare in some areas of its range and it does not seem adaptable to human activity, it has a wide distribution range and it is probably stable throughout South America where viable areas exist.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The crab-eating raccoon, P. cancrivorus, is distributed from southern Costa Rica to northern Argentina (east border of the Andes), on Trinidad, and possibly on a number of other Caribbean islands. Within Costa Rica and immediately east of the border (i.e. Panama), it is sympatric with the common raccoon, P. lotor (De La Rosa and Nocke, 2000; Eisenberg and Redford, 1999).
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The crab-eating raccoon is naturally rare in some areas of its range and it does not seem as adaptable to human activity as the common raccoon, although it is probably stable throughout South America where viable areas exist. In the Paraguayan chaco, its density in secondary growth cattle land is estimated not to exceed 6.7 individuals/km2 (Glatston, 1994).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is nocturnal, terrestrial and solitary. Its diet consists of mollusks, fish, crabs, insects, and amphibians (Emmons, 1990). Very little is known about its ecology or behavior, although limited information is available from captive studies (Eisenberg, 1989). It is often believed to be limited to coastline and riverbank habitats, but it has also been recorded in non-aquatic habitats at certain times of the year. It is a species rarely seen deep in the rain forest, but it is found in llanos and evergreen forest. In the zone of geographic overlap with the common raccoon, the common raccoon is found in mangrove swamps while the crab-eating racoon is found on inland rivers (Emmons, 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species have included overhunting for pelts, use for target practice, the pet trade, and, in some areas, habitat destruction (being a rain forest species). Coastal development projects and mangrove destruction also contribute regionally to population declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No protection is given to raccoons thorughout much of their range (De la Rosa and Nocke, 2000), however, their range does overlap with a number of protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Cherem, J. J., Kammers, M., Ghizoni Jr., I. R. and Martins, A. 2007. Running over of mammals on roads of Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil. Biotemas 20: 81-96.

Eisenberg, J.F. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics. The Northern Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA and London, UK.

Eisenberg, J.F. and Redford, K.H. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics: The Central Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Emmons, L.H. and Feer, F. 1990. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA and London, UK.

Glatston, A.R. 1994. The Red Panda, Olingos, Coatis, Raccoons, and their Relatives. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Procyonids and Ailurids. IUCN/SSC Mustelid, Viverrid and Procyonid Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Michalski, F. and Peres, C. A. 2005. Anthropogenic determinants of primate and carnivore local extinctions in a fragmented forest landscape of southern Amazonia. Biological Conservation 124: 383-396.

Rosa, C. L., de la and Nocke, C. C. 2000. A Guide to the Carnivores of Central America: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, USA.

Citation: Reid, F. & Helgen, K. 2008. Procyon cancrivorus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided