Coendou mexicanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Erethizontidae

Scientific Name: Coendou mexicanus
Species Authority: Kerr, 1792
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Mexican Tree Porcupine
French Porc-épic Préhensile
Sphiggurus mexicanus (Kerr, 1792)
Taxonomic Source(s): Voss, R.S. 2015. Family Erethizontidae Bonaparte, 1845. In: Patton, J.L., Pardiñas, U.F.J. and D'Elía, G. (eds), Mammals of South America, pp. 786-805. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Taxonomic Notes: Also known as Coendou mexicanus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-10
Assessor(s): Vázquez, E., Reid, F. & Cuarón, A.D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Pino, J.
This species is listed as Least Concern because it occurs in several protected areas, has a large elevational and geographical range, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from San Luis Potosi, Yucatan, Mexico to western Panama (Reid 2009). It can be found from lowlands to 3,200 m (Reid 1997). There is one new record in Puebla, Mexico (Ramírez-Bravo 2012). There have been seven new records reported in southwestern Michoacán, Mexico (Monterrubio-Rico 2010) and another from Hidalgo (Torres et al. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is locally common and widespread in most habitats; but is uncommon to rare in wet evergreen forest (Barthelmess 2016, Reid 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This porcupine can be found at middle and high elevation in all forest types, including disturbed forest and second growth. At low elevations it seems to favour seasonally dry habitats. This species is uncommon or rare in wet evergreen forests of Atlantic lowlands. This species is nocturnal in habit. It feeds on seeds, fruit, buds, and young leaves (Reid 2009). There is increasing habitat destruction due to human activities causing reduction and fragmentation (Lorenzo et al. 2014).
Generation Length (years):8

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted, presumably at a subsistence level.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is hunted in some areas and often killed by traffic (Reid 2009). It is facing severe reduction and fragmentation of its habitat in Oaxaca, Mexico (Lorenzo et al. 2014). In Mexico it is considered threatened because it depends on forests and jungles; it is more tolerant of anthropogenic disturbances and this makes them more vulnerable (Juárez-G. 2014). They do occur in protected reserves (Juárez-G. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed under CITES Appendix III in Honduras (Reid 1997). It occurs in several protected areas in its range.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.4. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:High Impact: 8 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Barthelmess, E.L. 2016. Family Erethizontidae. In: Wilson, D.E., Lacher, T.E., Jr and Mittermeier, R.A. (eds), Handbook of Mammals of the World. Vol. 6. Lagomorphs and Rodents: Part 1, Lynx, Barcelona.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Juárez-G.,J.R. 2014. Mexican porcupine. In: Gerardo Ceballos (ed.), Mammals of Mexico, pp. 442-443. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Lira-Torres, I., Sanchez-Rojas, G., Ojeda-Ramírez, D. and Gómez de Anda, F.R. 2014. Registro Notable del Puercoespín Arborícola Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodendia: Erethizontidae) en la Sierra Madre Oriental, México. Therya 5(1): 271-275.

Lorenzo, C., Sántiz, E.C., Navarrete, D.A. and Bolaños J. 2014. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae) in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation. Revista de Biologia Tropical 62(4): 1481-1494.

Monterrubio-Rico, T.C., Ortega-Rodríguez, J.M., Mendoza-Cárdenas, N., Cancino-Murillo, R. and Pérez-Arteaga, A. 2010. Distributional and Ecological Records of the Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus) from Michoacán, Mexico . Southwestern Naturalist 55(1): 139-142.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Ramírez-Bravo, O.E. 2012. New Records of the Mexican Hairy Porcupine (Coendou mexicanus) and Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) in Puebla, Central Mexico. Western North American Naturalist 72(1): 93-95.

Reid, F. 2009. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Reid, F.A. 1997. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York.

Reid, F.A. 2009. New World Porcupines (Spanish: puercoespines) Family Erethizontidae. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico, pp. 244-246. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Citation: Vázquez, E., Reid, F. & Cuarón, A.D. 2016. Coendou mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T20629A22214103. . Downloaded on 28 April 2017.
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