Press Release – The Ghost Carnivore of the Andes – La Reserva & Durell Wildlife Trust UK

Press Release – The Ghost Carnivore of the Andes – La Reserva & Durell Wildlife Trust UK

The first ever live Mountain Coati (Nasuella olivacea) in captivity, is being kept in a strict quarantine and welfare procedures by researchers at Bioparque la Reserva in Cota, Cundinamarca (Colombia), with the support of experts from Mammal Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (UK). This small carnivore was confiscated by the Police and local Environmental Authorities. The Bioparque’s visitors will be able to learn about it through cameras installed in its enclosure until quarantine is completed. In a complementary project, the species’ natural habitat will be protected: a private protected area of 600 hectares in Sisga (Colombia) has been set aside for páramo conservation in order to study its ecology and behaviour.

The Mountain coati is perhaps the least studied carnivore in the world and due to its elusive behaviour there is very limited information. It is arguably, a ghost species. Published data has been obtained from skins, tissue samples and skulls belonging to collections in natural history museums, faecal samples, tracks and a single individual which was captured and then released immediately.
There are few reliable documents of this species which belongs to the same family of raccoons and kinkajous. It is presume to live in páramos and High Andean forest of Colombia and Ecuador between 1300 to 4000 meters above sea level. In Colombia, the species are thought to be found thoroughly The Andes and only travels short distances in search of food.

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