Cuniculus paca 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cuniculidae

Scientific Name: Cuniculus paca
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Spotted Paca
French Agouti
Spanish Paca, Tepezquintle
Agouti paca (Linnaeus, 1766)
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly Agouti paca.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Queirolo, D., Vieira, E., Emmons, L. & Samudio, R.
Reviewer(s): McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. However, local extinctions have occurred in the southeast of its range due to habitat destruction.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed. It occurs from Mexico south to eastern Paraguay, northern Argentina (Eisenberg and Redford 1999), and Uruguay (Mones et al. 2003). It has marginal distribution in Uruguay.
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; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Algeria; Cuba
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread and locally common in the northern part of its range; scarce in the south of its distribution. Local extinctions of the species have occurred due to habitat destruction in the southeast of its range (Quierolo pers. comm.).

This rodent occurs at population densities of 84 to 93 individuals per square kilometer in suitable habitat in Colombia (Eisenberg and Redford 1999).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species occurs in a wide range of forest types in moist areas. It is frequently found in gallery forests near rivers and standing waters, where it builds its own burrow, or it can occupy that of another animal. Its diet is frugivorous and it may an important seed distributor (Eisenberg and Redford 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Agouti is hunted for food. There have been studies on producing this species in captivity, it is not known how successful these have been and whether some are captively sourced.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This rodent is an important game animal throughout its range, and is frequently taken as bush meat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species in included in Annex C of the Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein. Honduras is included the species in CITES Appendix III in 1987. CITES Export Quotas have been issued for certain countries since 1997.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
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 -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Mones, A., Gonzales, J., Praderi, R. and Clara, M. 2003. Diversidad de la Biota Uruguaya: Mammalia. Anales: Museo Nacional de Historia Natural Y Antropologia 10(4): 1-28.

Citation: Queirolo, D., Vieira, E., Emmons, L. & Samudio, R. 2008. Cuniculus paca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T699A13068075. . Downloaded on 26 May 2016.
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