Eira barbara 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Eira barbara
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Tayra, Greyheaded Tayra
Spanish Cabeza De Mate, Amingo, Gato Negro, Tolomuco

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Cuarón, A.D., 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 as although it is probably locally threatened as a result of human activity (Nowak, 2005), it is locally common throughout his entire range and occurs in a variety of natural and disturbed habitats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from southern Veracruz, Mexico, throughout Mesoamerica and south across South American to northern Argentina, occurring throughout except for the high Andes and Caatinga (eastern Brazil).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Eira barbara is one of the most common medium-size predators throughout its range (Emmons and Freer, 1990). Common in Central America (Janzen, 1983; Alston, 1882; Kaufmann and Kaufmann, 1965; Emmons and Freer, 1990; Reid, 1997), Colombia, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana (Eisenberg, 1989), Venezuela (Handley, 1976), Bolivia (Anderson, 1997), Brazil (except in the caatingas and cerrado; Emmons and Freer, 1990), Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Barquez et al., 1991; Mares et al. 1989; Redford and Eisenberg, 1992). However, was not recorded in the Paraguayan Chaco during a year (1989-1990) of large mammal censuses (Brooks, 1998), despite a taxidermied specimen in the local museum (Brooks, 1991).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Eira barbara is a diurnal, sometimes crepuscular species (Reid, 1997), solitary that travels within a big home range (Sunquist et al., 1989). It seems to be a forest species, using both floor and tree habitats. Emmons and Freer (1990) affirms that Tayra inhabits tropical and subtropical forests, secondary rain forests, gallery forests, gardens, plantations, cloud forests, and dry scrub forests. Hall and Dalquest (1963) affirms that it can live near human habitations, crops and other human disturbed habitats. Usually occupies below the 1,200 m, but there are reports up to 2,400 m (Emmons and Freer, 1990; Eisenberg, 1989) and is common at 2,000 m (Gonzalez-Maya pers. comm.).
Diet of Tayras is omnivorouse, including fruits, carrion, small vertebrates, insects, and honey and small vertebrates as marsupials, rodents, iguanids among others (Cabrera and Yepes, 1960; Emmons and Freer, 1990; Galef et al. 1976; Hall and Dalquest, 1963). This species does well in agricultural areas and along the edge of human settlements.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is not evidence about trapping or hunting of the species (Emmons and Freer 1990). Schreiber et al. (1989) reported that the range of the tayra has been reduced in portions of Mexico because of the destruction of tropical forests and spread of agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tayras occur in numerous protected areas. Honduras lists this species under CITES Appendix III.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Wearing apparel, accessories
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Alston, E. 1882. Biologia Centrali-Americana: Mammalia. R. H. Porter, London.

Anderson, S. 1997. Mammals of Bolivia: Taxonomy and distribution. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 231: 1–652.

Barquez, R., Mares, M. and Ojeda, R. 1991. Mamíferos de Tucumán. Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, USA.

Brooks, D. 1991. Some notes on terrestrial mustelids in the central Paraguayan chaco. Small Carnivore Conservation 4: 5-6.

Brooks, D. 1998. Habitat variability as a predictor of rarity in Neotropical mammals. Vida Silvestre Neotropical 7: 115-120.

Brooks, D. M., Rojas, J. M., Aranibar, H., Vargas, R. J. and Tarifa, T. 2002. A preliminary assessment of mammalian fauna of the Eastern Bolivian Panhandle. Mammalia 65: 509-520.

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. 1960. Mamíferos Sudamericanos. Ediar, Buenos Aires.

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

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

Galef, B., Mittermeier, R. and. Bailey, R. 1976. Predation by the tayra (Eira barbara). Journal of Mammalogy 57: 760–761.

Hall, E. R. and Dalquest, W. W. 1963. The Mammals of Veracruz. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 14: 16-362.

Handley Jr., C.O. 1976. Mammals of the Smithsonian Venezuelan Project. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, Biological Series 20: 1-91.

Janzen, D. H. 1983. Costa Rican natural history. University of Chicago Press, Illinois, USA.

Kaufmann, J. and Kaufmann, A. 1965. Observations of the behavior of tayras and grisons. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 30: 146–155.

Mares, M., Ojeda, R. and Barquez, R. 1989. Guide to the mammals of Salta Province, Argentina. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, USA.

Redford, K.H. and Eisenberg, J.F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Reid, F. 2009. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 1989. Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives. An Action Plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Sunquist, M. E., Sunquist, F. and Dancke, D. F. 1989. Ecological separation in a Venezuelan llanos carnivore community. Advances in Neotropical Mammalogy: 197.

Citation: Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. 2008. Eira barbara. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41644A10526741. . Downloaded on 24 May 2016.
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