Nasua nasua


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Nasua nasua
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English South American Coati
Spanish Coatí, Achuni, Tejón

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Emmons, L. & 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 the species is widespread and apparently common in an area of relatively intact habitat, population density varies greatly from region to region and there are no major threats (although the species is probably declining due to hunting and habitat loss).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Nasua nasua is broadly distributed in South America, ranging from Colombia and Venezuela in the north to Uruguay and northern Argentina in the south (Gompper and Decker, 1998). The species is absent from the Llano grasslands of Venezuela (Eisenberg, 1989) and has also been introduced to Robinson Crusoe, one of the Juan Fernández Islands of Chile (Colwell, 1989; Miller and Rottmann, 1976; Pine et al., 1979).
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population density of Nasua nasua varies greatly from region to region. Densities reported ranges from 6.2 individuals/km2 in a region of low-lying deciduous forest, to 13 individuals/km2 in taller gallery forests (Gompper and Decker, 1998).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is an occupant of forested habitat. It has been reported from multistratal deciduous and evergreen rainforest, riverine gallery forest, xeric chaco, cerrado and dry scrub forest (Brooks, 1993; Emmons, 1990; Handley, 1976; Mondolfi, 1976; Schaller, 1983). It is found over a wide altitudinal range, with Andean individuals found at elevations up to 2,500 m (Lönnberg, 1921). Nasua nasua is omnivorous, eating predominantly invertebrates and fruit (Gompper and Decker, 1998). The consumption of vertebrates has been noted, but is never common (Beisiegel, 2001; Bisbal, 1986; Gompper, 1996; Kaufmann, 1962; Russell, 1982; Schaller, 1983). It is essentially diurnal in its activities. Adult males are solitary, while females and immature males travel in groups up to 30 individuals (Crespo, 1982; Emmons, 1990; Schaller, 1983).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss due to deforestation and hunting for their meat by natives are major threats for the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is protected under CITES Appendix III as N. n. solitaria in Uruguay. The species occurs in numerous protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Beisiegel, B. M. 2001. Notes on the coati, Nasua nasua (Carnivora: Procyonidae) in an Atlantic forest area. Brazilian journal of biology - Revista brasleira de biologia 61: 689-692.

Bisbal, F. J. 1986. Food habits of some neotropical carnivores in Venezuela (Mammalia, Carnivora). Mammalia 50(3): 329.

Brooks, D. M. 1993. Observations on procyonids in Paraguay and adjacent regions. Small Carnivore Conservation 8: 3-4.

Colwell, R. K. 1989. Hummingbirds of the Juan Fernandez Islands: natural history, evolution and population status. Ibis 131: 548-566.

Crespo, J. A. 1982. Ecologia de la comunidad de mamiferos del Parque Nacional Iguazu, Misiones. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" 3: 1-162.

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.

Gompper, M. and Decker, D. 1998. Nasua nasua. Mammalian species 580: 1-9.

Gompper, M. E. 1996. Sociality and asociality in white-nosed coatis (Nasua narica): Foraging costs and benefits. Behavioral Ecology 7: 254-263.

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

Kaufmann, J. H. 1962. Ecology and social behaviour of the coati, Nasua narica, on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. University of California Publications in Zoology 60: 95–222.

Lönnberg, E. 1921. A second contribution to the mammalogy of Ecuador with some remarks on Caenolestes. Arkiv för Zoologi 14(4): 1-104.

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.

Miller, S. and Rottmann, J. 1976. Guia para el reconocimiento de mamiferos chilenos. Editora Nacional Gabriela Mistral, Santiago.

Mondolfi, E. 1976. Fauna silvestre de los bosques humedos tropicales de Venezuela. In: L. S. Hamilton, J. Steyermark, J. P. Veillon and E. Mondolfi (eds), Conservacion de los bosques humedos de Venezuela. Second edition, pp. 181 pp.. Sierra Club, Consejo de Bienestar Rural, Caracas.

Pine, R. H., Miller, S. D. and Schamberger, M. L. 1979. Contributions to the mammalogy of Chile. Mammalia 43: 361.

Roldan, A. I. and Simonetti, J. A. 2001. Plant-mammal interactions in tropical Bolivian forests with different hunting pressures. Conservation Biology 15(3): 617-623.

Russell, J. K. 1982. Timing of reproduction by coatis (Nasua narica) in relation to fluctuations in food resources. In: E. G. Leigh, Jr., A. S. Rand and D. M. Windsor (eds), The ecology of a tropical forest: seasonal rhythms and long-term changes, pp. 413–431. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Schaller, G. B. 1983. Mammals and their biomass on a Brazilian ranch. Arquivos Zoologia 31(1): 1.

Citation: Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. 2008. Nasua nasua. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 July 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