Conservation news

What is a kinkajou? Candid Animal Cam meets the animal that is neither a bear nor an ape

  • Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting the kinkajou.

Kinkajous are called “honey bears,” “night apes” and “nightwalkers,” but they are neither primates nor bears. Kinkajous are a tropical rainforest mammal closely related to raccoons, olingos and coatis. They live in the forests of Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Bolivia. Kinkajous are rarely seen by people due to their nocturnal habits. They sleep during the day in tree hollows in family units and search for food at night. Although they are classified as carnivores and have sharp teeth, their diet consists mainly of fruit, particularly figs and so, they may play an important role in seed dispersal. Watch the video to learn more about them!

Special thanks to Osa Conservation for sharing their footage with us. The videos were obtained during an arboreal camera trap study looking at habitat connectivity and arboreal wildlife use in Costa Rica.

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Banner image: Kinkajou at a rescue center in Peru. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

 

Romi Castagnino is Mongabay’s bilingual writer. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @romi_castagnino

 

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