Animals of Costa Rica

Agouti

They are a larger rodent than you might imagine when thinking of a mouse. They are a brownish coloring that is lighter along the abdomen. They are about 1 – 4 kilos with slender bodies, short ears, and hoof-like claws on their toes.

Taxonomy (Dasyprocta punctata)
Spanish Name Guatusa
Conservation Status They are of least concern, but some populations are declining due to habitat destruction and even hunting.
Distribution This species is found from southern Mexico down into northern Argentina. It was also introduced into the Cayman Islands.
Behavior Agoutis will pair up with another and mate for life. They can be territorial and may fight with others. The hairs on their rear ends will raise up and they will vocalize in defense. They are largely diurnal, but if they are bothered will adjust some activity to the night (people or predator interference). When eating, they will sit up on their hind legs and hold the food in their forepaws.
Diet They mainly feed on fruits, but will bury seeds or remaining food to save for when fruit may not be as easy to find. They will also eat some succulent plants and vegetables.
Reproduction They are monogamous and the males will spray the females with urine causing her to ‘dance.’ They will breed throughout the year but most often when fruit is plentiful (March-July). Gestation is 104-120 days with about 2 young born.
Threats Deforestation and hunting are a threat to agoutis. Deforestation is threatening all wildlife, big and small, worldwide.