Micke Grove Zoo

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Ringtail
Bassariscus astutus

Habitat: varied habitats from oak forests, woodlands, chaparral habitats, deserts, and rocky cliffs

Range: widely distributed through south and south-western Mexico and U.S.A

Natural Diet: fruit, insects, rodents, and birds

Status in the Wild: Common

 

Fun Facts

  • Ringtail are active at night. They have excellent eye sight that helps them navigate and to hunt for prey

  • They are expert climbers and are able to climb trees, rocky outcrops, and cliffs. Ringtails also have the ability of turning their wrists and ankles around which helps in climbing

  • They are light brown in color that helps them camouflage or hide from their predators. It is beleived that the rings on their tails also helps to distract predators

  • Interestingly, ringtails when they are startled excrete a fowl musk like substance to deter predators

  • They live in dens made in tree hollows, rock crevices, or abandoned burrows

 

 

Conservation Threats

  • Illegal hunting and trapping for their fur has a detrimental influence on their wild numbers

 

Ringtails live in a variety of habitats in North America

 

 

 

 

Distributional range in North America (click on map to enlarge)