Last Updated: Jun 17, 2015
White-nosed coatimundis, known locally as pizotes, are a member of the raccoon family. These curious creatures adapt easily to a variety of terrains and are native to the southwest United States as well as Mexico, Central and South America.
Scientific Name: Nasua nasua
Status in the Wild: Common
Habitat: Cloud Forests, Rainforests, Tropical Dry Forests, Woodlands
The white-nosed coatimundi, or coati, is one of
Color variations are common, but many coatis have white or cream-colored rings around their eyes, snout and tails. Coatis can weigh upwards of nine pounds and their powerful, stout legs and sharp claws make them exceptional tree climbers. Coatimundis are diurnal, meaning they are usually most active during the day and seek the refuge of trees at night.
Like their raccoon relatives, coatis have an excellent sense of smell and are true omnivores. In
Coatis are common throughout
Coati females and their young travel in bands of five to thirty individuals, spending most of their time on the ground foraging for food. Adult males are solitary creatures except during breeding season, when they are temporarily accepted into the female social group.
Breeding season varies from one location to the next and typically correlates with availability of food. Once a dominant male is accepted by the coati clan, he breeds with all of the females before returning to a solitary life. Female coatis make their nests in trees and give birth to three to six young after a 75-day gestation period.
Baby coatis are tiny (3 ounces) and are completely dependent on their mothers until they are six weeks old. Young coatis are weaned by four months and reach sexual maturity at two years of age. In general, coatis are very playful animals and young coatis can be especially mischievous.
Status in the Wild:
The white-nosed coatimundi is not considered a threatened species. Humans continue to encroach on coati territory, forcing these intelligent creatures to live in increasingly smaller areas. Natural predators to the coati include ocelots, jaguarundis, jaguars, hawks, foxes and boa constrictors. Humans occasionally hunt coatis for food, and there is an alarming demand for coatis as domesticated pets.