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Procyon pygmaeus (Carnivora: Procyonidae)

Alejandra de Villa-Meza, Rafael Avila-Flores, Alfredo D. CuarÓn, David Valenzuela-GalvÁn
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/877.1 87-93 First published online: 26 May 2011


Procyon pygmaeus Merriam, 1901, commonly called the Cozumel raccoon, is a procyonid that is endemic to Cozumel Island, Mexico. It is the smallest member of the genus (about 45% lighter and 15–37% smaller in linear measurements than the mainland P. lotor). P. pygmaeus prefers mangrove stands and sandy areas, but it also can be found in semievergreen and subdeciduous tropical forests and agricultural areas. Diet is primarily composed of crabs followed by fruits, insects, crayfish, and small vertebrates. P. pygmaeus is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Introduced congeners and predators, parasite and disease spillover from exotic animals, habitat fragmentation as a result of the expansion and widening of the road system and rapid development of other infrastructure for tourism, and hurricanes are the primary threats to this species.

Key words
  • endangered species
  • endemic species
  • Mexico
  • procyonid
  • pygmy raccoon