Tamandua mexicana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Pilosa Myrmecophagidae

Scientific Name: Tamandua mexicana (Saussure, 1860)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Tamandua
Spanish Oso Hormiguero, Oso Melero, Oso Mielero, Tamandua
Taxonomic Notes: Wetzel (1982) recognizes five subspecies of T. mexicana. It is likely that further taxonomic work is needed for this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-11-05
Assessor(s): Ortega Reyes, J., Tirira, D.G., Arteaga, M. & Miranda, F.
Reviewer(s): Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.
Contributor(s): González-Maya, J.F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Abba, A.M.
Tamandua mexicana is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, its tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tamandua mexicana ranges from southern Mexico in the north of its range, through Central America as far south as northwestern Peru and northwestern Venezuela. It ranges from sea level to 2,000 m Asl, although most sightings have been recorded in areas below 1,000 m Asl (Cuarón 2005; Cuervo-Díaz et al. 1986; Eisenberg 1989; Morales-Jiménez et al. 2004; Tirira 2007, 2008; Nuñez-Perez et al. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Costa Rica (Costa Rica (mainland)); Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras (Honduras (mainland)); Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México State, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán); Nicaragua (Nicaragua (mainland)); Panama; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland))
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Tamandua mexicana is common in appropriate habitat. It is, however, considered uncommon in Ecuador (Tirira 2007, 2008). Population density estimates vary from 0.06 individuals per hectare in Costa Rica (Guariguata et al. 2002) to 0.13 individuals per hectare in Panama (Montgomery 1985). Its home range has been estimated at 25 hectares in Central America and Ecuador (Montgomery 1985, Tirira 2007) and 70 hectares in Panama (Eisenberg 1989).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Tamandua mexicana is found in tropical and subtropical dry and moist forest, including mixed deciduous and evergreen habitats. It can also be found in mangroves and grassland with some trees. It can survive in secondary forests and in disturbed habitats. The most common coloration is tan with a black vest on back and sides (Wetzel 1985) but uniformly tan individuals without vest also occur. Tamandua mexicana can move, feed and rest on the ground and trees (Lubin and Montgomery 1981, Montgomery 1985). This anteater feeds mainly on ants and termites, but it has also been observed consuming palm fruit (Attalea butyracea) (Brown 2011).
The females give birth to one young at any time of the year (Reid 1997).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In some parts of this range, this small anteater is used as a pet species or hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Roadkills, wildfires, hunting and habitat change are affecting this arboreal anteater, but the scope of these threats is unknown. In rural Ecuador, T. mexicana is persecuted due to the local belief that it attacks domestic dogs (Tirira 2007). It is used as a pet species in southern Mexico (Lira-Torres 2006), and indigenous people may hunt it for food in some areas (Espinoza et al. 2003, Méndez-Cabrera and Montiel 2007, Urquiza-Haas et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The population of T. mexicana in Guatemala is listed on Appendix III of CITES. It has been recorded from several protected areas, among them Soberanía National Park (Panamá), Machalilla National Park, and the Ecological Reserves Arenillas, Cotacachi-Cayapas, Mache-Chindul and Manglares Churute (all in Ecuador; Tirira 2007).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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Citation: Ortega Reyes, J., Tirira, D.G., Arteaga, M. & Miranda, F. 2014. Tamandua mexicana. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T21349A47442649. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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