First ever Mountain coati in captivity in Colombia26/09/2010 13:10:18
Much to be learnt about elusive mountain coati
September 2010: Through joint efforts of Colombian and British conservationists to protect and ensure the survival of the only Mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea), ever kept in captivity, the general public will begin to understand about this enigmatic mammal and its conservation.
Through joint efforts of Colombian and British conservationists to protect and ensure the survival of the only Mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea), ever kept in captivity, the general public will begin to understand about this enigmatic mammal and its conservation.
Confiscated from poachers
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 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, information about it is very limited. 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.
The same family as raccoons
The mountain coati mostly feeds on beetles and their larvae, ants, crickets, millipedes and fruits but they are also opportunistic feeders of small animals such as frogs and also will eat carrion. They are thought to be gregarious, forming social groups that could consist of 6 to 8 adult females and juveniles from both sexes. Adult males are solitary and are tolerated only during the mating season.
‘Data deficient' so coati has no conservation status
Through DNA analysis of blood samples of this specimen, Bioparque La Reserva hopes to add relevant information to the limited data on the Mountain coati. The individual which was confiscated by the National Police of Colombia and Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca -CAR Zipaquirá will be shown to the press only by invitation to a press conference and only after it has adapted to its new environment in the Bioparque. The general public may observe it for now, from cameras to be installed in its quarantine enclosure at Bioparque La Reserva or on web-cam footage at www.bioparquelareserva.com.
The first permanent exhibition of this species will be on the second stage of development of the Bioparque La Reserva. It will share a large area with other species from its natural environment such as the spectacled bear, Andean fox and white-tailed deer. This exhibition of mixed species will be the most modern of its kind, and visitors can immerse themselves in the natural environment of the Colombian Andes while they walk.