IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)


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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Information on the ecology of the Pygmy Raccoon has been summarized in Cuarn et al. (2004), McFadden (2004), and de Villa-Meza et al. (in press). The Pygmy Raccoon prefers mangrove stands and sandy areas, but they are also found in semi-evergreen and subdeciduous tropical forests and agricultural areas. Abundance varies considerable among vegetation types. Main subpopulations are restricted to coastal areas of the island, and vast areas of the central part of the island are uninhabited or have very sparse subpopulations. The Pygmy Raccoon may inhabit areas that are in proximity to human settlements, as well as to paved and unpaved roads (Cuarn et al. 2004, McFadden 2004, Garca-Vasco 2005, Copa-Alvaro 2007).

Pygmy Raccoons are mainly nocturnal, although it is not uncommon to see them during daylight (Cuarn et al. 2004, Garca-Vasco 2005). Generally it is a solitary mammal, which could sometimes form family groups (Cuarn et al. 2004, Jones and Lawlor 1965).

The Pygmy Raccoon is an omnivorous species, with preference for crabs but followed by fruits, insects, crayfish, and small vertebrates (McFadden et al. 2006, Martnez-Godinez 2008). The relevance of the different food items varied importantly between seasons and sites, and following major changes in habitat quality due to hurricanes (McFadden et al. 2006, Martnez-Godinez 2008).

The Pygmy Raccoon is particularly vulnerable to introduced pathogens and diseases such as mange, rabies and dog distemper from exotic animals (Cuarn et al. 2004, McFadden 2004, Mena 2007). The parasites Eimeria nutalli, Placoconus lotoris, Capillaria procyonis, Physaloptera sp., a mite in the family Listrophoridae, and a trematode in the family Heterophyidae have been collected from P. pygmaeus individuals (McFadden et al. 2005). The identification of Toxoplasma gondii in some Pygmy Raccoons suggests a recent spillover from domestic cats (McFadden et al. 2005). It has been identified that the Pygmy Raccoon has been exposed to infectious canine hepatitis, canine distemper and feline panleukopenia viruses (McFadden et al. 2005, Mena 2007).

Genetic information indicates that Pygmy Raccoon individuals share the same mtDNA haplotypes, suggesting a recent population bottleneck that might be related to the founder effect (McFadden et al. 2008).

  • Terrestrial


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Source: IUCN


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